USS Churchill

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Just the scent of you

Posted on Fri Jun 7th, 2019 @ 10:17pm by Captain Mr'isarr & Ensign Harlow Launceston

Mission: Off duty Postings
Location: Outpost 51

After a most pleasant walk in the Holodeck which included many stops to admire a view or scene before them, after many conversations back and forth about the Homeworld it was no surprising that Mr’issa found himself pleased that Harlow would seek his company yet again. He had wondered if maybe she was engaging in his Caitian history and culture because she felt compelled to, he hoped that was not the case at least.

When he returned home he showered, he made sure everything was clean, his fur, his claws, his teeth and fangs. A vigorous brushing to tame his thick fur coat, even down to the tail tip and his ears, his face and fangs. He had chosen to wear a three piece set comprised of a jacket that was open, long in length nearly to the floor with a vest garment and pants to match. He’d noticed that she did seem to enjoy his selections of clothing and the designs of them, hoping to continue showing her more by wearing other options for such. Once he was ready to go he left his quarters and headed for hers where it was not long before he once again found himself outside her door, seen by others all dressed as he was.

The more time Harlow had spent in Mr'isarr's company, the more time she wanted to spend with him. After spending the bulk of the day together, Harlow had returned to her quarters and spent more time reading about his home before getting ready for their dinner that night. Having showered and freshly washed her hair, Harlow brushed it out carefully until it had dried, falling silkenly down her back. Her dress was new, something she had picked up late that afternoon from one of the boutiques in the common area of the station.

It was unlike anything else she had ever owned, or worn, but the young man who had sold it to her had been quite adamant that it suited her perfectly. Incredibly low cut with thin straps that ran over her shoulders, quite fitted around the bodice, cinching in, highlighting her tiny waist before flaring out around her thighs. This time she had added her gold chain again, the charm nestling just at the top of her cleavage. Adding a pair of strappy black heels and a tiny slick of lipstick, she checked her appearance in the large mirror in her bedroom before returning to the lounge to wait for him to arrive.

She was standing next to the view port when he arrived, having spent her time staring out at the stars. Turning as the doors parted, she smiled as she watched him walk in, casting an appreciative glance over his form as she quickly smoothed the front of her dress, watching him as he walked across to her.

Mr'isarr smiled seeing her new appearance which was vastly different from her previous attire selections and this new one he found himself appreciating more. It reminded him much about the styles of clothing that the females on the Homeworld wore to some measure but on her it suited her very well. “Good evening.” He bowed, straighten and then smiled. “Are you ready to depart?” Hoping that he’d not come early to interrupt her preparations.

"Of course," Harlow said as she smiled warmly as she closed the distance between them. Being in heels did little to close the height difference between them, but walking in heels made a difference to the way she moved. Her back was straighter and her hips swayed more with each step. She was nervous, especially under his gaze, but she kept on smiling. "Do you like?" she finally asked, holding her hands out slightly as she stopped in front of him, turning slowly to show off her outfit."

"Females of my world would be envious of such." He replied with a smile as he gave her more than just one head to toe look as she turned before him. "If it suited, I had a local establishment prepare two containers of mixed foods for us to sample in the Holodeck?" He figured it was perhaps the best way to spend more time alone, than surrounded by others, and scents.

Her face lit up at his compliment as she smiled. "It sounds perfect," she said as they walked out into the corridor, silently pleased that they were spending more time together privately.

Just as he’d arranged, as they neared the doors to the Holodeck two males walked around the corner each carrying a container from which Mr'isarr took in his hands. “After you.” He said letting Harlow enter first to the scene of his Homeworld. There was only one view in the Province that had the 2nd best view, the Pri’arch enjoying only the very best. While he had planned this, he didn’t tell Harlow the cultural significance of this hill backed cliff face. It held such import yet didn’t want to frighten or scare her with it by bringing her here when all he wanted her to enjoy was the view, and his company.

"It's beautiful," she said softly, turning slowly to take the entire view in. "Your homeworld?" she asked curiously. She didn't remember seeing anywhere like this in the program they had shared earlier.

“My hometown is there.” Before them lay his birthplace, a small city in size but there were no buildings reaching for the sky, no towers or sky scrapers. Seldom were residences anything more than two floors tall, government buildings were understandably larger, the gathering hall stood out about all else but one.

"It really is amazing," Harlow said smiling warmly. "Do you want to eat first or do you want to walk around?"

“Let us eat, lest our selections get cold.” Not that they would but some were best when eaten promptly. He placed both of the containers onto the floor of dirt that was clearly a pathway worn into the ground over time of use. From one container he pulled out a blanket, only this blanket was vastly more substantial in size compared to others might use for such a thing. Plates came out next, cutlery for Harlow and himself in suitable sizes, one of the two bottles of drink both of which were nonalcoholic wine since alcohol was problematic for Caitians.

Walking across to the blanket Harlow hesitated, realising that she had not actually practiced sitting on the floor wearing heels and such a short, flared skirt. Finally, sinking down carefully to her knees before sitting carefully, she looked up at him and smiled, watching as he set the placings on the blanket for the two of them.

Smaller containers followed, each containing a large portion of food that could be shared from the container or placed onto plate if required. They ranged from fish to a variety of meats, greens for Harlow if she chose but otherwise the options were plentiful to choose from. Two chilled glasses next and he handed the bottle over to Harlow. "My claws prevent me from opening them properly."

Opening the first bottle of wine, Harlow poured the drink into the two glasses and set the bottle aside before she handed one across to him. "Would you show them to me?" she asked softly, almost hesitantly.

"My claws?" He asked surprised by her question.

She nodded slowly. "Will you show me?" she asked again.

Typically such things were intended for the Mate, or in the defense of someone. However Harlow was a female and culture demanded he obey. Stepping closer to her and dropping to one know which highlighted the double joints in the legs he produced his hands, one palm up the other down. From then he extended his claws to the full capable length. A creamy white set of claws appeared each curved and he had each of the sealed and treated to help combat wear and tear though he did sharpen them and take great care of them as a matter of tradition.

Harlow reached out slowly, almost tentatively her fingertips trailing slowly and gently tracing over the claws in front of her. There was no fear or distrust in her face, no disgust or anything else. She looked up at him, her hand moving to rest her hand on his palm. "Thank you," she said softly.

Putting his claws away he resumed setting up the meal in relative silence. Harlow was the first to touch or see his claws outside of a medical exam, or combat. While the ordeal was not an easy one, a female had asked and he would obey. She didn’t seem to be put off by them considering it’s a general understanding what they would be used for. Lifting off the lids to the small food containers that had kept the food hot and ready to eat he offered. “Please, eat.”

"Did it bother you that I asked?" Harlow asked softly as she took a small amount of the food, watching him carefully for a moment, before shifting her position so she could balance her plate on one knee.

"No." He replied. "Though I am pleased that you did not become off put by them, in light of the obvious intent they serve."

"They are part of you," Harlow replied quietly. "I would be hypocritical if I say I accept who you are, but only conditionally. I like you claws and all," she smiled as she picked up her wine glass, holding it up slightly toward him. "What shall we drink to?"

“Friendship.” Something which in the last few days had sprouted between them and developed well regardless of what he was and the very clear differences between the two of them. Lifting his class, much like Harlow did, a smile on his face as a gentle breeze caught her hair a little.

"To friendship," she repeated, smiling as she reached up with her free hand to brush her hair back behind her ear quickly before returning her hand to keep her plate balanced. Setting the glass down on the blanket, she picked up her fork, spearing a piece of meat and popping it into her mouth, chewing it slowly. "So this is where you grew up?" she asked with a smile between bites.

"It is." He replied as he too began to eat. "From a young age we are taken from our parents and put into training. My Caste is one of warriors, fighters, male and female undertake the same training though only later do the females part from the males and train alone." He explained. "This is to prevent accidental bonding due to proximity. It is also because the Pri'arch, who resides up there, will pick from the very best of the females to act as her personal guard. They surrender much for this honour but there are non who take their duties more seriously."

Harlow paused, contemplating over what he had just said. "Do you see your...." her words trailed off again as something else clicked in her mind. "Accidental bonding?" she asked, suddenly changing her question. "I thought you said you would know before anything happened?" She looked up at him questioningly. "If you know before something happens how can accidental bonding happen?"

"The first indication of bonding is we feel drawn to someone, for some they are unsure why but are, for others it is due to exposure to the others scent. At a point the male will declare that hes bonding to a female, it is here that the female can accept it, or decline. The latter involving her avoiding the male for a time to remove her scent." He answered.

"I see," Harlow said softly, turning her attention back to her plate, using her fork to push the meat and greens around slowly. "Do you see your family again after you are put into training?" she asked, accepting his explanation.

"We do, during our training we are rewarded by seeing them, they are used as encouragement to do well." He answered.

"Well, I guess at least you get to see them," Harlow replied, picking up another piece of meat and popping it in her mouth. "Did you like it? I mean the training? Was it hard being away from your family?"

"Liking it is not an option, its required." He answered. "Much like we need air to breath, our training is not something we can forfeit. Least of all in my case with white fur, completing training top of my class, grants me certian appeals to others when they sought to keep me on the Homeworld. As I mentioned, they had arranged for 4 females to present themselves, we would reside together and to one I would bond to." Even saying it tasted bitter. "Some would view such terms as selective breeding and in a way it is, in the hopes of producing more with my fur type."

"I can see why, you do have beautiful colouring," Harlow said with a smile. "Lots of males would jump at the chance though, I mean, your life set, you don't need to do anything, just sit back and enjoy being treated like a king."

"True, however such a lifestyle is restrictive. I am treated well true, a suitable mate afforded me, a home, comforts. But what life is that to lead if one has no control over it. To be caged, a pampered cage true but to be unable to do much just because of the colour of my fur, the prize it has to my kind. That is not life." He replied.

"No, it isn't. But I guess some people would prefer it to the alternative. I mean, there are those that say that Starfleet is no kind of life either," Harlow said softly. "Sometimes Starfleet is not as idyllic as it appears on the surface."

"True, I have noticed that for myself compared to what I was told prior to leaving the Homeworld." He answered as he continued to eat his food, looking over that which he called home, the views, even the trees he used to climb as an infant.

"What is your family like?" She asked, watching him as stared out at the view before them.

"My father and superior is retired, a warrior like myself until an accident removed him from service. He now serves as a consultant for our military arm. My mother is part of the legislative wing of the province leadership." That was as he last remembered them, communication has been difficult with them with the duties they undertake and when he left the Homeworld it was not under the best of situations or partings.

"Are you alright?" she asked softly, pausing between bites. "I can stop asking questions if it bothers you."

"It is alright, just some parts of my past are harder to talk about in light of the situation they were presented." He answered as he smiled, his food for the moment ignored and his attention to that which he called home.

"You don't have to tell me anything," she said gently. "It's okay, I understand." Reaching out, she rested one hand lightly on his arm. "But if you want to talk I'll listen."

"Long stories hardly suited to a moment such as this." He replied then resumed to eat. His own meal though large was finished quickly as he was able to chew and swallow portion far larger than most.

Picking her way through her meal, eating smaller bites and chewing slowly, Harlow continued to look around curiously. "What is this place?" she finally asked quietly, offering her plate to share with him. "Is it somewhere important?"

"Its my home." He replied looking around. The province capital is over there, the Pri'arch's residence atop the cliff face there. A lake and its adjoining river is over there and a forest lays before us and to the left."

Finishing her meal, she set the plate aside and rose awkwardly to her feet, inadvertently giving him a fleeting glimpse of the black lace fabric of her panties covering her bottom. As she stood up, she smoothed her dress from her ribs down over her hips and cast a quick smile in his direction before she walked toward the edge of the cliff, looking out over the province capital. It all looked so serene and peaceful. Turning back to face him, she smiled, laughing as the breeze picked up around her, catching her hair again.

"Would you like to go for a walk?" Seeing that she had stood up and seemed keen to do something having finished eating. There was something pleasing about her attire, as he had mentioned it suited her and also held particular points that suited the Caitian style of appeal. While most Humanoids would be sways by the views of flesh and such, he saw things much differently.

"Only if you hold my hand," Harlow replied with a laugh. "I don't want to fall over the edge. It looks like it's a long way down." She brushed her hair back behind her ear, watching him with a smile as she reached one hand toward him hopefully.

"It is a long way down." Harlow didn't know it, but part of the 'Trials of Self' were a climb, the male would have to climb unaided or assisted to the top to prove his worth. Many had tried, some didn't see the top. The way he said it revealed that not only was the teachings true, but he'd seen it happen. A sad day indeed.

"So where shall we walk to?" Harlow asked as she walked away from the edge toward him, sliding her hand into his.

"If you wish we can walk to the city." He offered, feeling her hand slide into his much larger one now that he was tasked with making sure she didn't fall.

"Sure, the city sounds nice," Harlow said with a smile as they started walking. "Do people ever try climbing up the cliff? Or down it?" She shivered involuntarily. "I don't light heights very much but I know some people enjoy that kind of stuff."

"Only up." He replied as they walked the path the females take to reach the top. A path that on the Homeworld only once would he walk. "Our ways demand accent only."

"Climbing to the top is some kind of ritual?" she asked incredulously. "For what?"

"Marriage." He answered. "As you know when two come together they bond, from that they become a union or Mates. Should the female deem the male worthy of such she can elect to marry the male. The male is then required to run the 'Trials of Self', a series of trials to demonstrate and prove the worth the male has, not just to his Mate, but to the province. A large number of people will gather to observe the trials ending at the top where we ate. The female along with a servant of the Pri'arch will oversee the trials, she if the Mate accepts him, the servant begins the marriage ritual."

"And you have to climb the cliff to prove that you're worthy?" Harlow asked reservedly. She took a deep breath before shaking her head. "But that's practically barbaric!" she finally retorted. "What if you fall?"

"We die." He could understand how to an outsider she would view what he just said as barbaric. His ways were different but it was hard to explain the significance of them to an outsider that has not lived by them, grown up with them.

Harlow fell silent as they continued to walk. "Well it's archaic and it's barbaric," she said pointedly, though her voice now significantly quieter. "I don't like that idea at all."

"Harlow, as difficult as it is to understand, you have to see that our ways have been passed down through generations, consider what I am, what I can do. I can jump across gaps Humans couldn't, I can leap into the air, I can kill with a swipe or bite. The climb is an act, a demonstration of ourselves. If we fall we fall because of our self discipline, our fitness, or lack of control. The act is symbolic in nature." He explained knowing full well that some of his ways she disapproved of but there was little he could do about it. "If you were up there you would have to watch me, you would observe me climb and you would be forbidden to help me. If I got to the top the servant would take our hands, you have seen my claws, now imagine her pushing them into your hand. She would wipe the blood between my ears, into your hair. Unifying us in blood, the act itself symbolic of unity. From the peak we walk back to the city where on the hall's steps the Overseer awaits us. Only she can part our hands, we can not let go of each other. Should we reach the steps the Overseer will pull our hands apart and wipe the blood under our chin, a full circle."

She listened as he explained, but still, she couldn't truly understand. "And if you die then it's all for nothing anyway and nothing else matters," she said quietly, her voice tinged with sadness. "I know it's a ritual but it's stupidly pointless and dangerous. How many of your people die trying to prove themselves?"

"If we die, then it is because we did not prepare or we overestimated our prowess. I feel that you don't fully understand the scope of power the females have in my culture. When I said that we are a matriarchal society I didn't just mean the females held all the roles of import and power, the owners of property. When selected as a Mate we males become property, we are required to obey regardless of the danger it poses to us." He explained though he doubted she would fully understand the alien line of thinking. "It is rare for a female to put her Mate in danger knowing that the loss of him would also result in her own death, but she has that right to command him, if she wishes."

"I..." Harlow started to speak before biting down on her bottom lip. "I don't need to understand it to know I don't like it," she said quietly. "But it's your culture and it's your people, so I won't say any more about it. I'm sorry." She fell silent, though she glanced intermittently at the cliff face behind them on the path before shaking her head slowly. "So what's the city like?" she asked softly, her voice much more restrained now.

“There are days when it is busy, felines walking the streets, the market, enjoying the gardens under the grace of the Pri’arch. There are times when the weather is sour and yet we still brave it. The aroma of food, the delicate of the gardens and its many flowers.” He was speaking from fond memory when he would run along the streets in his eager youth, a break from training and a chance to be himself again. The walk down from where they had lunch was brief, not overly steep but the view never yielded no matter how far down they went.

Harlow smiled as she listened to him speak, her small hand tightening in his slightly. "It sounds lovely," she said quietly before lapsing into silence again, not entirely sure if she had somehow offended him or not.

"I remember when I would sit under the tree in our family garden when it rained, Mother was unhappy but I would always remember the smile on her face when she would collect me and take me indoors." A smile on his face as he remembered the last time that happened before shipping back to training.

"If she smiled I doubt she was truly unhappy with you," she said quietly. "She would have missed it when you left I'm sure." Harlow glanced back at the path they had walked down, before falling silent again. "When was the last time you saw her?"

"Not since leaving the Homeworld for Starfleet." He answered though his tone softer now. "She missed my leaving before her transport was late. I received a letter from her saying she arrived just as my shuttle left the port."

"Oh." Harlow replied softly. "I'm sorry, that would have been difficult. I imagine she would have been very upset at not having been able to say goodbye. Do you talk to them often now?"

"Not often, my Father even less so. He feels that I have abandoned what it is to be Caitian by leaving the Homeworld. He is a strictly traditional Caitian by most standards." He answered as they approached the end of the path down the cliff.

"Do you think that?" she asked softly. "Do you think you have abandoned what it is to be Caitian?"

"No, I do not, but my Father is very set in his ways." He answered holding her hand with the slightly uneven footing of the path at its very end.

Stepping carefully, Harlow held his hand with one hand and held her skirt down with the other, as they crossed the uneven ground, making a mental note to not ever wear heels like this again. "I'm sure he's forgiven you," she said quietly. "And if he hasn't, then he will as soon as you find yourself a nice Caitian mate and give him lots of grandchildren." The words felt distasteful, even on her own tongue as she said them and she found herself glancing crossways at the cliff face again, the view even more daunting from down below.

"Forgive, I doubt. Thought it might soften his stance at my finding a Mate and if honoured to provide offspring." He answered as together they made along the path towards the city.

"Mr'isarr, he will forgive you," Harlow said softly. "He is your father, he loves you and he will forgive you. He just wants the best for you, just as you will want for your own one day."

"One day, perhaps." The walk resumed through and between trees, some of which bore claw marks from the trials. He saw the signs of a recent attempt on the bark of some trees, some disturbed dirt from a fall too. "Is there anywhere you wish to see in the city?"

"I'm sure anything you want to share with me will be wonderful," Harlow replied softly. "I don't really know what to see."

Having taken Harlow around much of the city, which being a hologram he was able to show more than what would normally be permitted. Some buildings could not be entered because they were government buildings, but the gardens could be enjoyed fully. A gentle breeze held to carry the scents of the flowers as he stood watching Harlow.

She wasn't sure how long they had walked for, but it was enjoyable. Every part of it was enjoyable, but mostly because she had been in his company. The gardens was definitely her favourite part though. The flowers, the greenery, even the wildlife flitting around. "This is beautiful," she said with a smile. "Thank you, for sharing your home with me."

"As you wish." A saying he frequently said in the right situation. He explained that the shops on the Homeworld held within a variety of wares and a few shops were specific towards females only. What was inside he didn't know, males are forbidden, but he knew of them.

Harlow sighed softly, looking up at him, brushing her hair back from her face against the breeze. "What do you wish for?" she asked quietly. "What about your wish?"

"What I wish for does not matter, my customs and traditions dictate everything. I can not stop being Caitian as much as you can not live without breathing. Like it, I am trained from a very young age, our rules are almost absolute, our customs define us, our traditions lead us, guide us." He explained. "Females will always come first."

"Indulge me," Harlow said softly as she walked across to him, closing the gap between them, slipping her and into his again. "If you weren't bound by your customs and traditions what would you wish for?"

"I would wish for happiness, to find purpose beyond the service I have to Starfleet. To be accepted beyond what I appear to be and not feared by my peers." He answered, something which he did truly want, but seldom got it because most were too busy seeing what, instead of who.

Harlow turned slowly as she looked around, her gaze falling instinctively back to the cliff face a distance away from them. Turning back toward him, she looked up at his face, an expression of concern on her own. "You told me that you are required to obey anything that a female asks of you, is that true?" she asked softly. "If I were to ask you to make a promise to me, would you have to do it?"

"As long as through such promise no other is harmed, or touch imposed upon another without permission." He spoke in reply.

"Promise me you'll never do that?" she asked softly, motioning toward the cliff face. "Promise me you'll never put yourself in danger like that."

"That, is one of our most sacred traditions Harlow, it has been part of our way of life for as long as I know." He came to a slow stop, somewhat confused by her request but surprised by it too. "Males are honoured to take the trials because a female has deemed them worth of marriage, one of the highest honours that can be bestowed a male, the other being offspring." He added. "We males are subservient to females, not only is it an honour to serve a female but to prove our worth to one, in view of the overseer, our townspeople, is something that I can only hope to one day do." He didn't expect her to understand, sadly his ways didn't need her to. "I do not think you understand the gravity of our ways, males serve the females, they obey. If she should wish it she could order the males death and he not only would be required to do it, but be honoured to."

Colour burned her face as she took a step closer to him, reaching up, her finger tips brushing across the side of his face. "And what if a female doesn't want you to risk your life?" she asked quietly. "What if a female doesn't think you need to prove yourself like that to be equal?"

"If I were to marry, how I marry is up to the female. However, as the female she has the right to marry by mine, or by hers. Thus if I were to marry a Caitian then she would demand I run the trials. If I were to marry a female of another species then I can marry by her customs and traditions but, she could still demand the trials if she wanted them." He answered.

Harlow's hand fell back to her side and she looked down at her hands. "I... I think I need to go," she murmured softly, turning and starting toward the walk way back up the side of the cliff, her foot steps uneven on the ground given her heels.

Having taken maybe a dozen steps, Harlow paused, taking a deep breath and turning around, watching him for half a heartbeat before she started walking back toward him, a careful gaze resting on his face as she walked closer. "Then choose me," she said quietly, an air of determination in her voice. "Choose me for your mate."

"It, is not as simple as that. Though I am honoured." He answered. "Caitians bond through scent. Proximity and touch help but the process takes time and its dangerous for me. If I bonded to you and you leave me for another I will die. The chemical imbalance caused by your absence is not something that can be treated or avoided. There are risks bonding to a Caitian, some of them rather painful, especially for you."

"I don't care, I'll take my chances..." she said determinedly. "And I'm not going to leave."

"If you are serious about this then I will need something of yours, something which carries your recent scent upon it. I should suggest something not of personal value as its doubtful you will get it back. It is perhaps the one thing the female does not get returned once her intentions are known." He answered. "I should warn you that even if you ask this there are things that I am required to do, I can not avoid these and one of which if very painful, and life threatening to you."

"I don't care," she said quietly. "Like I said, I'll take my chances. Can we..." she paused, smoothing the front of her dress as a way to steady her shaking hands. "Can we go back to my quarters?" she asked softly. "I have something there..."

"As you wish." He answered. "Computer, arch." He could only hope as he stood there that she was aware of the risks she was putting herself in the way of, he had literature that would help in his things that he'd give her now that she'd made her plans known. He did however hope that he was prepared to do what he had to.

The walk back to her quarters passed in relative silence. Shortly after leaving the holodeck she had slipped her hand into his, not caring who may have seen, but she remained silent. Finally, once they had returned to her quarters, she opened the doors and stepped through, inviting him to join her. As she walked across to the couch she kept waiting for him to speak, to say something, anything, that might make break the nervousness she felt. Instead, she sank down onto the couch, unstrapping her heels and pulling them off, leaving them on the floor as she walked into her bedroom.

Maybe five minutes passed before she returned to him, holding a rather tatty looking teddy bear in her arms. "This is Bear," she explained softly. "I think my parents gave him to me, I don't know, but he's been in my bed every night for as long as I can remember." She held the tatty bear out toward Mr'isarr. "Take him," she said softly.

"Are you sure, you may not get it back?" He answered as he looked at the item. "During period of separation through duties we resort to that which aided our bonding in the first instance."

She nodded slowly, her gaze never wavering. "I'm sure," she said quietly. "If I wasn't sure I wouldn't have offered him to you."

"The process should take between two and three weeks." Even that was an approximation but it was all he had to go by from the teachings that he'd received prior to leaving the Homeworld.

"What do I need to do?" Harlow asked quietly, returning to the couch and motioning for him to join her. "What do I need to do next?"

"I have in my belongings something that might help you, there is a translator available for it as it is written in my language. It should help you consider what to do, what happens in the future and further on." He answered as he sat down on the couch, the creaking of it as it strained under his substantial weight.

As he sat, Harlow moved closer to him, resting her head against his arm. "I don't need to consider," she said quietly. "I told you I'll do anything it takes."

"I know, but it is best for you to know what to expect and to conduct yourself in support of your wishes than to go unknowning or unprepared." Knowing was half the battle at the end of the day in achieving ones goals.

"Alright," she said quietly. "I'll read what you want me to." She paused, falling silent for a moment, just thinking. "You've not objected to anything so far, but I want to know what you think too," she said softly. "Do you want me for your mate? I know it's up to scent, I know it's not simple, but what do you want?"

"I want to be accepted, happy and loved. To be seen beyond what I appear to be, to satisfy traditions, to be a Mate one can be proud of, not fear me for what I can do but confident of what I will do to protect them." He answered knowing that much was riding on what she would read and what she'd do.

Harlow stood up, moving so she was standing in front of him, between his legs, her hands reaching out and resting on his chest as she looked up into his face. "I don't fear you," she said quietly, one hand moving back to the side of his face. "I've told you that." Slowly she leaned toward him, rising up, and even still needing to put her hand behind his neck and pull his head down to her slightly. Taking a slow breath to steady herself, she leaned into him and brushed a soft kiss across his nose.

Perhaps if Harlow knew what he'd done, what he had to do in his past on the Homeworld, during his service then that might give her cause to fear but then he had said he was forbidden to harm a female. That in itself could be a source of comfort but even then only one situation demanded he do so, a situation she would come to read upon later. The kiss to his nose was a first and honestly something he was unsure of how to do. He had seen others kiss before but never done so himself, the concept was as alien to him as others viewed him to be. With her hand behind his neck she'd feel the collar, something she would have to remove at the proper time when being claimed.

She rested her forehead against his for a moment, her hand still at the back of his neck, before she pulled away and took a step backward, just standing there for a moment and watching him. "Say something..." she asked quietly.

"Can...May..I touch you?" He spoke, so softly that the feline inflections in his words could be heard over the translation of the UT in his badge.

"Yes," she replied, her voice barely above a whisper herself, knowing what it must have taken for him to speak those few words. She reached for his hand, picking it up and holding his palm against the side of her face, leaning into it for a moment and closing her eyes.

Slowly standing though not taking his hand from her face he looked down at her from his superior height. He lowered his own head and using his hand turning hers away he brought his nose to her neck and drew in her scent straight from her skin. He growled, a stalking, predatory growl, the warm wave of breath across her bare shoulder as he held her to his head as he breathed in. She had made her intentions very clear, she wanted to be that one, that one most important being in his life. She had also given him permission to touch but he was afterall, still an apex predator and sometimes he had to remember that when it came to touch, his tongue slipped from between his lips and rasped up her neck from its base to just under the ear.

The feel of his hands across her skin, his breath on her bare shoulder, his tongue rasping over her neck, even the growl she could almost feel reverberating against her flesh, it all sent a shiver of excitement coursing through her body unlike anything else she had ever felt before. Reaching up, she used one hand to pull her hair to the side, allowing him free and clear access to her neck, making no attempt to pull away or stop him.

Scent was what he needed, what better than from the very skin to whom it was from. Deeply he breathed in all the while it was doing its work in starting the process. Though it would take time it was however a more beneficial start. He could see she didn't fear his actions, even the growl, standing there moving her hair aside for him. He had to be careful for he knew what he could do and what he was capable of, his claws away since even the slightest touch could harm or cut and that was what he wanted to avoid.

"Mr'isarr," his name was spoken in the softest of whispers, not to stop him, but to encourage him, her free hand moving to the side of his face, fingertips tracing softly down over his neck and resting just above his collar.


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