Author:  Macbee
Rating:  NC17 for sexual content
Disclaimer: The characters of Matthew Gideon, Sarah Chambers, Max Eilerson and Galen belong to Warner Brothers, Babylon 5 Productions and Time Warner Entertainment. By using them in this story I intend in no way to infringe on those rights.
Special thanks to: Kailin and Antoinette for their skilled editing and words of encouragement.
[  ] Denotes private thought.
Through a Mist Unknown

Dr. Katherine Fox stood, inspecting the wound thoroughly before she prepared  to clean and suture it.  She never in a million years expected to have Galen sitting on an exam table before her, undressed. Well, only from the waist up, but undressed just the same. She had seen men unclothed before, some completely naked. But, this was her first experience with a technomage. Katherine had known Galen for several months, since she came onboard the Excalibur. After her ship, The Constellation was destroyed by an  armada of  unknown alien ships, she and the handful of remaining survivors had been rescued, and she began working in sick bay to earn her keep, as they say.   Galen was the first and only technomage that Katherine had met, or even seen for that matter. She enjoyed talking with him , but she had never been this close. Now, as she prepared his shoulder wound for dressing, she wondered just how much of him was a technomage, and how  much was a man.   She slipped his cloak further back to expose his shoulder and immediately noticed his skin. She had assumed  that he must be pale beneath the heavy black cloak he wore. So much for assumptions. Underneath the dark, oppressive garb, his skin was lightly tanned. The color of  a tan that has held its own against autumn and is in its final battle with winter. Her eyes traveled over his shoulders, resting for a moment on the implants, then moving downward to his lower back. His skin was smooth,  his body sinewy and sleek.

"Ahem." Galen cleared his throat.

"Sorry," Katherine moved around to face the mage. "I was just checking for other injuries."

"Yes, and very thoroughly I might add." A half smile crinkled the corners of his mouth.

"Thank you." That was all that Katherine could come up with. [Thank you? Dumb. dumb, dumb!]

She turned to her left to pick up a gauze patch.

"See anything of interest while you were back there?" Galen queried.

"What?" Katherine had not been listening.

"My back. Did you find anything of interest there?"

Katherine looked at him for a moment, then said "No."

"Not one little thing?"

"Everything checked out. No additional injuries." Katherine was becoming uncharacteristically uncomfortable . She poured antiseptic onto the gauze and pressed it to Galen's shoulder. His sudden intake of breath told her that it was burning his wound. "Sorry." She smiled. "Have to get out all those germs. The burning will stop momentarily."

"If you say so doctor."

"How did you say you acquired this injury?"

"I don't think that I did."

While she held the gauze to the wound, Katherine's gaze began to wander again. Across Galen's chest, lightly dusted with hair, down to his stomach, flat and hard.

"Have you found another wound doctor?"

His voice jolted her from her thoughts. She raised her head and found herself looking directly into Galen's icy blue eyes.  

"Were you talking to me?" she asked unable to look away.

"I said, doctor"  Galen's voice was very deliberate. "Did you find another wound? Down there?" He pointed to his abdomen.

"Wound?" Katherine was clearly flustered now. She knew her cheeks must be crimson for she could feel them burning. "No. No more wounds.......Please, Galen, I'm trying to take care of your injury."

"And I appreciate it." Galen  knew the effect he was having on Katherine, but he couldn't figure out why.  They had shared several interesting conversations during the past few months, but they had never been alone together. And she never showed any interest beyond a casual friendship. [So, why is she blushing and why are those tiny beads of perspiration popping out on her forehead. Her breathing seems a bit quick too. This is very interesting.]

Galen continued to stare at Katherine's face as she closed his wound. [She is quite lovely. Chestnut hair, drawn back and fastened, blue eyes, full lips. A tiny crescent-shaped scar above her left eyebrow.] His eyes drifted to the front of her uniform, which was opened just enough to show a hint of cleavage.

"Ouch!" Galen was shocked back into reality by the slap of Katherine's hand on his bandaged shoulder.

"Sorry. Well, you're all done. Bye."

"What?" he couldn't quite give up this little game yet. "No further ministrations, no do's and don'ts for proper healing?"

"I think you'll heal just fine, Galen. Now, excuse me. I need to see a sick crew member in his quarters." Katherine picked up her medical bag and was walking out the door as she finished her sentence.

"But............" Galen looked after her, a smile spreading across his face.

In the passageway, Katherine leaned against the wall for support. [What was that? You're a doctor for god's sake. You see men's bodies all the time.] But not Galen's, a tiny voice whispered in her ear. [No, not Galen's.] She abruptly turned and headed down the passageway.

Galen, standing in the doorway to sick bay, watched her turn the corner.


During the two weeks that followed the sick bay encounter Katherine did not see Galen, for which she was tremendously grateful.  She was told that he came in for a follow-up check, but, thankfully she had not been on duty. It bothered her greatly that she had been so affected by him. She had had no desire for, or sexual thoughts of, a man since her husband, David, died five years earlier.

Late on Friday of the third week, Katherine was leaning on the counter, checking the sterilization unit. Suddenly, though she heard nothing, she knew  that Galen was behind her. She hesitated before turning around and was greeted with a smile.

"Good evening, doctor." His blue eyes seemed to look right through her.

"Galen," she nodded. "May I help you?"

"Well," he continued to smile. "It depends."

Standing so near to him made her feel uncomfortable, so she walked around the counter, pretending to adjust something on the instrument trays.    "Depends?"

He walked up to the counter and nodded.

Katherine cleared her throat. "On what?"

"On whether or not you are hungry."


"Food, doctor. Sustenance. Or as it is known to some on this vessel, chow."

"I didn't think you took your meals in the dining hall." She had to clear her throat again.

"Lord, no! I don't classify the rubbish served in the galley as food. I had a more pleasant meal in mind.  Delicacies from the farthest galaxies. Tasty morsels to tempt even the most finicky eater ."

"But not in the dining room?"

Galen shook his head, but his eyes kept contact with hers. "No."

"Then where?" her voice sounded small and far away.

"My ship?" He raised his eyebrows in question.

"Oh, I don't....................................I don't think so, Galen, but thank you. Another time, maybe."

"When? Tomorrow night?"

"No.  I......uh..........have a meeting."


"I can't then either. I'm going to be...........uh....."

Galen interupted. "Is there some reason you would prefer not to have dinner in my ship? Or is it that you would prefer not to have dinner with me?"

"No. No reason. I'm just........"

Again Galen interupted. "Are you uncomfortable at the thought of being alone with me, Katherine?"

"Of course not." She hoped she sounded convincing.

"Good, then I'll pick you up at your quarters in an hour."

Katherine was stunned and no words of protest formed in her mind or in her mouth.

"An hour then?"

Katherine could only nod yes. Galen was out the door before she could think straight enough to change her answer.


[What do you wear to dinner with a technomage? The red dress. No! Too clingy. The grey slacks. Too dressy! I've never had dinner with a mage before. How the devil do I know what to wear.]  Katherine looked at herself in the mirror and decided to wear her uniform.

Galen arrived promptly an hour later. Katherine knew he was at the door before he pressed the button.  Taking a deep breath, and swallowing an unusual amount of saliva, she opened the door.

"You look lovely, Katherine. You always do in your uniform."

"Well, I...uh...didn't have time to change. Last minute emergency." [Emergency all right. How did I ever agree to do this?]

Galen was admiring her quarters but turned suddenly. "What did you say?"

"Last minute emergency?"

"No," he looked puzzled. "After that."

"Nothing." She walked to the door and Galen  made it a point to let her go out first.

She smiled as he moved to walk beside her. Do mages read minds? God I'd better watch what I think.

Katherine nodded at other crew members they passed in the passageway and wondered if they wondered where she and Galen were going.


Katherine had never been inside Galen's ship, and she found her selfgiven tour took her mind off her apprehensions. She was studying the flight panel when Galen returned from.....wherever he had been.

"Looks complicated" She tried to sound at ease.

"Not if you know what you're doing." He smiled and motioned her toward a seat.

"I guess not." She laughed softly. [Dumb!! Why do I sound so dumb all of a sudden?]

"Drink?" Galen handed her a small goblet, crystal she thought, filled with a pink liquid.

"What is it? I don't drink alcohol." Now she really felt dumb. [What supposedly sophisticated - ha! - woman...officer... in the forces of the  Earth Alliance does not drink wine? This was not a good idea!]

"It isn't exactly alcohol. It's more of a................................It isn't alcohol." He lifted his hand as if to make a toast but only smiled and waited for her to drink first.

Katherine sipped the liquid. It was delicious. Sweet, but not overly so. It made her think of something, something she remembered from childhood. [Oh, what does it taste like. It has the taste of something I have smelled. Sort of.........] "Geraniums!"

"I beg your pardon." Galen sat down near her.

"The taste, it makes me think of the fragrance of geraniums." She giggled.

Galen raised his hand to his mouth to cover a smile. [Perhaps I poured too much in her glass.]

"You know, Galen, this stuff is good. Could I have some more?"

"Not on an empty stomach, Katherine. Why don't we eat?"

"OK. Let's."

Galen had prepared a buffet of sorts, using things he "borrowed" from the galley to reproduce a few of his favorite recipes. Without the actual ingredients it would be lacking, but he thought it would do, considering Katherine had never had any of those dishes anyway.

Katherine ate mostly in silence, but Galen could see the change taking place in her as the food in her stomach helped diffuse the pink liquid drifting lazily through her veins.

"This is delicious, Galen. What is it?"

"An old family recipe."

She smiled, and he believed that she honestly meant it this time.

After he had cleared away the remains of dinner, Galen sat down across from Katherine. He wanted to leave some space between them, although she didn't seem as nervous as she had earlier.

She smiled again. "So, what was in that drink, Galen? You said it wasn't alcohol."

"It is not. I first tasted it several years ago while visiting a small planet in the Ardac system. It's made from locally grown herbs and  is used for relaxation."

"Sort of a tranquilizer?"

"For lack of a better word. But, absolutely no alcohol." [It's apparently working. She looks relaxed enough.]

Katherine smiled again.

"Tell me about yourself, Katherine."

"Oh," she laughed. "You don't want to hear about me."

"But, I do"

"OK, where shall I start?'

"At the beginning."

And so she did. Katherine told Galen about her growing up on a farm in western Virginia. How she wanted to become a veterinarian but found that she had a way with people and chose human medicine instead. She told him about med school, her stint at the academy, and her first assignment on a ship called The Norseman.  Prodded by Galen, Katherine told him her likes and dislikes, the name of her first and forever friend - her cat Sissy. She talked for hours, almost non-stop, but she never mentioned David. Galen did not ask.

Katherine looked at her watch. "Heavens, I should have been in bed hours ago. I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me, talking so much."

"Don't be sorry. I wanted to hear all about you."

"Maybe next time you will tell me about your childhood."

"Next time." He stood up and reached his hand toward Katherine to help her up. For a split second they stood there, Galen holding her hand, together, alone, in silence.

Katherine was the first to break contact. "Thank you Galen. It was a lovely evening."

"The pleasure was all mine."

She laughed. "You really should bottle and sell that pink herb drink. It's a miracle drug. Calms you down and cures what ails you."

"Did it cure what ails you, Katherine?"

"No, not everything."

"Perhaps you haven't given it enough time."


Galen walked Katherine to the door of her quarters and thanked her for joining him for dinner. She watched him as he retreated down the passageway. "Good night, Galen." Her voice was a whisper, but before he turned the corner, Galen stopped, looked back and smiled.


Katherine was quite pleased over the outcome of her dinner with Galen. She knew now that he would be a  good friend, and friends were so hard to come by these days. She no longer felt uncomfortable around him, even when he was close, which was frequent. He had a habit of popping up at the oddest times. They had dinner often, but Katherine usually did most of the talking. Galen was a hard man to pin down about the past. He did tell her some parts of his life, but she knew he kept the secrets to himself.

As the weeks passed Katherine and Galen spent more and more time together. She even coaxed him into having dinner in the officers mess, and despite his protests, he ate his Yankee Pot Roast with "a coming appetite" as Katherine's mother used to say. Most evenings they spent talking. Katherine was very impressed with Galen's stories of the different worlds he had seen. She realized that she really liked and respected him  more that any man she had met in a long time. He had a wicked wit which often pulled laughter from deep inside Katherine and made her feel good.   When he was away, in his ship, she missed him, but work  kept her busy. Since she had come onboard and taken over the medical aspects of  sick bay, Dr. Chambers had more time to research a cure for the Drakh plague.

It was the taking over of these medical duties that led Katherine on a mission to  answer a medical emergency call from a planet in the Vecta system.  She joined Capt. Matthew Gideon, Max Eilerson, Dureena and three security officers in the shuttle for a quick trip down to the planet's surface. It had been determined from earlier scans that the air was breathable, and there were no life signs other than the six that were apparently located in a downed craft, a mile from the shuttle's landing point.

She and Capt. Gideon, along with the security force headed toward the craft's location while Max busied himself with the local geology. Dureena disappeared into the forest to..................well, Katherine didn't know what she was going to do. Her only thoughts at that moment were of the injured or sick inhabitants of the vessel  they now approached.

Katherine saw the craft as they pushed through a clump of thick underbrush. It was sleek, oblong and black.  There were no lights and no apparent inhabitants. When they reached the ship's lowered ramp, Gideon motioned the security officers inside. He followed a distance behind and directed Katherine to wait until he called for her. At the precise moment the captain disappeared up the ramp, two things happened. First, Katherine felt Galen's presence and turned to see him coming out of the underbrush. Second, everything went black.


Katherine opened her eyes slowly, then closed them. Her hand went immediately to her left cheek which was throbbing with pain. A bandage kept her from examining the area to determine the source of the discomfort.  Her head felt like an over-filled balloon, and her eyes burned. With much effort she managed to open her eyes again but was unable to focus.

"Katherine." A voice came out from the fog. "Katherine , are you awake?'"

"Sarah?" Katherine stretched out her hand and Dr. Chambers took it, folded it in her own. "Where am I?"

"You're in sick bay. You had a little accident."

Katherine winced. "It doesn't feel so little. How did I get back to the ship? Where are the others? Are they OK?"

"Everyone's fine Katherine. All back  on board safe and sound. You're the only one who was hurt."

"How did I get hurt?"


Katherine was sure she misunderstood. "Pirates?"

"Space bums, solar scum, interplanetary thieves." Dr. Chambers sat on the edge of the bed. "They sent out a distress signal to lure a shuttle down to the planet. They planned to steal it and leave. Unfortunately, everyone had to be inside their inoperative craft for them to close the ramp and hightail it over to the waiting shuttle. When you were left outside it messed up their little plan. So, one of them clobbered you with a rock."

Katherine sighed heavily. "No wonder it hurts so much."

"It feels worse that it actually is. The cut was small enough that I didn't have to close it, but you have one hell of a black eye. And a pretty,  multicolored bruise over most of the left side of your face. At least you won't have to wear makeup for a while."

Katherine would have smiled at Sarah's little joke, but she was in too much pain to respond.

Dr. Chambers got up, walked across the room and retrieved a syringe from the counter. "I'm going to give you something for the pain.  It will help you sleep. That's the best thing for you right now."

Katherine felt the prick of the needle and the warmth spreading up her arm and into her chest. Just as the drowsiness began to hit her she remembered Galen.  "Was Galen on the planet? I thought I saw him."

"You did. In fact he brought you back in his ship while Matthew and the others rounded up the pirates."

"But what was he doing down there?"

Just as Katherine drifted into sleep she heard Sarah reply "He didn't say."


Katherine was able to be back on her feet the next morning and back to work the following day. Her face looked terrible, but it did look worse that it felt. Galen left the Excalibur the night of the accident, and even though Dr. Chambers told Katherine that he sat by her bed during those first few hours, she was puzzled and a bit hurt that he would leave without talking with her.

The evening of that first day back at work, Katherine was exhausted. She skipped dinner, grabbed an apple in the dining hall and ate it after taking a shower.  Her thoughts drifted to Galen.   [I wonder where he is. Why would he just disappear? And what was he doing down on that planet? He is so mysterious!]  The shower had been soothing and  relaxing and, soon after she lay the core of her apple on the floor, next to her bed,  she drifted off to sleep.  She awoke with a start some time later and looked at the clock on the nearby table. It was after midnight! She struggled up from bed and put on the  pink  terry cloth robe that her mother had given her when she left for her first assignment on the Norseman .  It was old, but it was comfortable.

As she walked  barefoot into the sitting area to take an aspirin, she stopped.  She sensed Galen's presence before he could push the signal button on the door.  "Come in." The door opened, surprising Galen, who still had his hand in midair.

He smiled and walked in. "How are you Katherine?"

"Better." She wanted to ask him where he had been but thought better of it.

"I have something for you." He moved to stand in front of her and slowly brought his right arm from behind his back. In his hand was a flower. An unbelievably beautiful flower.

"Galen, it's the most stunning thing I've ever seen." He was pleased that she liked it. "Where on earth did you get it?"

"Not on earth, Katherine. On a small planet in the Erloc system called Niloa."

"That's where you've been for two days? You went to Ni..."


"Niloa, to get this flower?" Katherine held it under the light radiating from the ceiling. It was like no other  she had ever seen.   Lavender, pink, purple and rose petals, at least six inches long. The color was mottled and seemed to move and change from one hue to another. The delicate veins running through the petals and the long, green stem appeared to flow with a silvery liquid.  She thought that the plant glowed, but it could have been her eyes.  "What is it called?"

"Well," Galen rubbed his chin. "Its  name is...........oh,  never mind. In English it literally means 'good body.'  But, I don't suppose you have to worry about that." Katherine raised her eyes from the flower to Galen's face as he continued. "It's a healing flower. The fragrance gives off  healing properties."

Katherine lowered her head again  and sniffed. [Heavenly. I've never smelled anything like this.]

Galen watched her face. "If you put it in water, the aroma will fill the room and you will benefit from its medicinal qualities."

"Thank you Galen." Katherine smiled as she walked into the bathroom and retrieved a pitcher filled with water.  She placed the flower in the pitcher, on the desk near the door.

"You like it then?"

"I love it. I've never seen anything so lovely." She was indeed pleased with Galen's gift and even more pleased that he would travel two days to pick it for her. "Galen, why were you down on the planet before my accident?"

"I don't know." His brow wrinkled as he thought. "I had a feeling that I was needed. Well, I should go. You must be very tired." Galen's face became suddenly serious as he walked closer to Katherine and raised his right hand to touch her cheek with his index finger.

Katherine wasn't sure if her sudden shock came from Galen's words or the touch of his finger on her cheek.  She only knew that her heart had quickened its pace. "It's not as bad as it looks. Mostly sore."

"Here?" His finger traced the healing wound, along her cheek, toward her ear.

"Yes." She found that she could not take her eyes from his and swallowed hard.

"Is it sore here?" His finger moved to her ear with such a light touch that she barely felt it. But, she had no doubt  that he was touching her.

"A little."

"Here?" He slid his hand down the side of her neck and around to the back of her head.

"Yes." Katherine voice was only a whisper.

Galen intertwined his fingers in her hair, and Katherine felt chills. Chills mixed with heat, saturating her body. He kept his right hand in her hair, on the back of her head, and raised his left index finger to a tiny scratch above her top lip. "Is this sore?"

"No." She said,  her lips against his finger.

He stepped closer, so close that she could feel his breath on her face. Katherine's eyes had dropped to Galen's mouth. His lips were slightly parted. Time seemed to stop as he bent his head and brushed his lips against hers. She gasped and pulled away but only for a second. Their lips met again, and she returned his kiss. It was soft and warm and exciting. His left hand dropped to her waist and pulled her close to him. Her arms moved under his, to caress his lower back. The tenderness of the kiss began to deepen as Galen's tongue slipped into the warmth of Katherine's mouth. A tiny moan escaped her throat as his tongue began a dance with her own. Abruptly, Galen ended the kiss and stepped back from her. He opened his mouth to speak, but turned instead and strode out the door, leaving Katherine breathless and confused.


Sleep was a long time coming and rest was interrupted by vivid dreams of giant flowers and Galen, running ahead of her while she called his name. When Katherine's alarm finally sounded, and she woke, she knew that Galen had left the Excalibur.


For three days Katherine went about her duties, mindlessly ate her meals and slept little. She could think of nothing but that night in her quarters and Galen's kiss. And, she was frightened. Not of Galen, but of her feelings. She had not wanted nor needed a man since David. The thought of another relationship never even occurred to her. On the third night, she stood in front of the bathroom mirror, brushing her hair. [Why did Galen leave? I didn't initiate the kiss. He did. And he's the one who stopped it. I shouldn't have kissed him back. Why did I?  We were just caught up in the moment. that's it.  Caught up in the moment.] She only half convinced herself.

Katherine had been asleep for a hour or two, when something awakened her. It was Galen's voice. Had he called her name? She lay awake, quiet, and listened. [I must have been dreaming.] But, then she felt it. His presence. Pulling her to him.

She swung her feet over the side of the bed and stood up. She didn't bother to change from her gown, but grabbed her white medical smock and slipped  it on as she shoved her feet into her slippers. She started out the door,  stopped for a moment and ran back into the bathroom. She flipped on the light and saw herself in the mirror. [Oh god! I look awful!!] After dragging a brush through her hair a few times, looking at her bruises and deciding it was no use, she left her quarters and headed for the lower flight deck. Amazingly, she met no one on the way. When she arrived at Galen's ship, the ramp was down and the door open.

Inside it was dark, and she waited for her eyes to adjust. She walked a few steps inside.

"I've been waiting for you."

Katherine jumped at the sound of Galen's voice. She turned as he stepped out of the shadows. "Waiting?"

"I knew you would come." He walked toward her and extended his hand. "We need to talk."

She nodded in agreement and took his hand.


Seated in the semi-darkness Katherine listened as Galen told her about Isabelle. Her heart sensed his pain and she wanted to comfort him, but she stayed silent and listened. Finally, his words stopped.

"I didn't know about Isabelle. I'm so sorry."

"How could you know?" he smiled at her. "Few people do."

"When you kissed me......when we kissed, did it make you feel disloyal?" She searched his face in the dim light.

He looked down for a moment, then back at Katherine. "Perhaps. Did you feel disloyal to David?"

"You know about David?"

"I do."  He said, touching her arm.

"How?" she asked him. "Did someone tell you?"

"Someone. Yes."

Katherine knew that he would say no more. He knew about David, and she knew about Isabelle. She stood up to leave.

Galen stopped her with a hand on her forearm. "You didn't answer my question, Katherine. Did you feel disloyal to David?"

She turned to face him and spoke softly. "No."

"Then stay." He let go of her arm, wanting the decision to stay or  to go to be totally hers.

Katherine moved to stand very close to him. She looked up into his piercing blue eyes and smiled. She did not need to say anything.

Galen raised his hand to her right cheek. "You're so beautiful. Far more so than any other woman I've known." He caressed her left, bruised cheek with his other hand. Slowly he drew her face close and captured her lips with his.

Katherine did not think she had ever been kissed so tenderly. She sighed as he pulled back from her, took her hand and led her into an adjoining chamber. The golden glow of candles cast dancing shadows on the walls as Galen guided her toward the bed. Ethereal music floated downward from the ceiling.

He stopped beside the bed and faced her. Slowly he unbuttoned the buttons on the smock, keeping eye contact as he did. Then as he slid the jacket from her shoulders, he looked down, his eyes traveling over her body, clad only in a gauzy pink nightgown. The gown fell to the floor when he untied the slender straps holding it in place on Katherine's shoulders. Katherine lowered her eyes. Galen was touched by her shyness, and placed his forefinger under her chin and raised her face to his. He kissed her on the forehead.

In the semi-darkness of the outer room, Katherine had not noticed that Galen was not dressed is his usual black attire. He wore a long, purple robe that made her think of Merlin the magician. There were gold symbols and figures threaded into the stand-up collar.  She smiled. "I thought everything you own is black."

"Not everything." His smile dazzled her. She saw it so rarely.

Her fingers trembled slightly as she reached up to untie the cording at the neck of the robe and it opened to expose Galen's chest. Running her hands over his chest and to his shoulders she lifted the fabric of the robe and it fell in a heap around his feet.

Stepping out of the robe, Galen drew Katherine into his arms. Her body melted into his as he covered her mouth with a passionate kiss.  His hands traveled slowly down her back, cupping her buttocks, pulling her closer.

Katherine felt Galen's body against her, and it left little doubt that he wanted her. She circled his neck with her arms and returned the passion in his kiss. She could feel the hair on his chest brush against her breasts.

The kiss became more urgent as Galen explored the warm, moist recesses of Katherine's mouth. She responded in kind. But as Galen made a move toward the bed, she hesitated. Still encircled in his arms, she lay her forehead on his chest.

"What's wrong?" He whispered against her ear.

"Galen, I haven't..............I haven't been with a man since David died."

He raised his hand to caress her hair. "I won't hurt you."

"No. I know you won't." She did not lift her head from his shoulder. "I...........I just don't want you to be disappointed."

Galen pushed her from him and held her at arm's length to look into her eyes, "My darling Katherine, how could I be disappointed?  You're beautiful, you're gentle and kind.  You're everything I want. More than I deserve."

He bent and swept her into her arms, then eased her gently onto the bed. As he stretched out beside her, he heard her laugh. He raised his head to look at her and followed her eyes to the ceiling.

"Stars." she said.

"I thought you might like those. Until I can provide the real thing."

Katherine reached up and pulled Galen down, surrendering herself and claiming him at the same time.

He made love to her with a deliberate slowness, wanting her to feel the same pleasure that he did. He felt her body tremble, as he trailed kisses across her breasts and down to her stomach. When she reached for his face to pull him to her, her lips hungry for his, he slipped his hand between her legs. To her most secret place.  When she was ready, he lifted himself above her, and when she parted her legs to receive him, he pushed deeply into her. She moaned only slightly as he entered her, then her passion rose.

Katherine had never felt the way Galen was making her feel at that moment. He was truly a magician, tantalizing her body with his lips and his hands. When he began to move inside her, she thought that she would explode, or at the very least faint. Never had her body reached the level of passion that Galen was bringing to her. When she felt that she could not stand much more, and she knew that it was only a matter of time until she felt that wonderful release of tension and joy and love, she closed her eyes in anticipation.

"Look at me Katherine." Galen's voice was raspy, his breathing labored. "I want to see your eyes."

It was with much effort that she kept her eyes open and her gaze focused on Galen's face. Then, she lost all control and surrendered to the release. With a sharp intake of breath, she whispered his name, and as she looked past him to the ceiling the stars seemed to be falling all around her. In only moments, a low groan escaped from deep within Galen, and he relaxed his body onto hers. She put her arms around him and held him tight, not wanting  him to  leave her.

After their breathing slowed and their heartbeats  returned to their natural rhythm, he gathered her into his arms and kissed her. She lay her head on his chest and was soon asleep. As Galen lay awake, listening to her breath slowly enter and leave her body, he knew that his life was forever changed. He had crossed the boundaries that he had always set for himself, and there would be no going back.


Katherine busied herself with the inventory of medical supplies, humming as she counted the bandages and stacked the med trays in an orderly fashion. A voice behind her made her jump.

"You're sounding awfully chipper this morning, Katherine."

She turned around. "Good morning Captain. A great day, isn't it?"

"If you say so. You wouldn't have any more of whatever it is you're taking would you? "There was a smile on his lips and in his eyes. A knowing smile she thought.

"I feel good. That's all." She tried to smile.

"You seem to be feeling good a lot lately." Gideon sat down on the edge of a bed. "Any particular reason?"

"No, sir."

"Well, it must be catching. Even Galen has been uncharacteristically cheerful." He stood up to leave, then stopped at the door and turned back. "You have a nice day, doctor."

"You, too, sir." [Oh lord, he knows. But how? I know Galen wouldn't tell him. It must be me]. She walked over to the counter and picked up a mirror. [No, I don't look any different, do I? Damn!  Why did he come in here? He didn' t ask for anything. If the captain knows everyone must know!"]


Katherine tried to avoid Galen, and he her, during the day time hours. Anyone who saw them together would surely be able to tell from the looks that passed between them that they were lovers. But, in the late hours of the night, all pretense vanished, as they moved in each others arms. Safe in the confines of Galen's ship they were free to say, to touch, to be.


As the weeks passed, Galen felt the need to be alone with Katherine. Really alone.  Early one morning, he found her in sick bay and ushered her into the linen closet.

"Galen, what is it?" Katherine looked worried.

"Can you get 24 hours off duty?"

"What?" She didn't understand.

"Can you get 24 hours away from here?"

"I think so. I haven't had a day off in ages."  Katherine's worry was replaced with puzzlement.

"Good. Meet me at my ship tomorrow at 5 a.m. or 0500 or whatever you call it."

"All right, but can't you tell me...................?"

"Five sharp."   Galen opened the closet door and was gone.


"Now keep your eyes closed, Katherine. I'll guide you down."

"Really, Galen, you have me meet you at dawn. We fly in your ship for hours, and you won't tell me where we are going or why. We land, and you won't let me look out."

"Shush, shush. Just a few more steps."  Galen held both of Katherine's hands but let them go as they came to a stop.  "All right. Open your eyes."

It took a few seconds for her eyes to focus, but when they did, Katherine was awed by what lay before her.  In the distance, purple mountains, shrouded in mist. A golden sun hung high over the peaks, its rays reflecting in a lake of glass, stretched out before her in lush fields of grass and flowers. Trees circled the lake and enclosed it in a show of privacy. Butterflies, birds, her eyes could not take it all in.

"Oh, Galen, this is beautiful!! Where are we?"

"Just a small planet. It has no name, no inhabitants, other than the flora and fauna. A sort of paradise, I suppose."

"Eden." Katherine smiled as she thought of the stories of paradise that her mother had read to her from the old family Bible.

"Eden it is, then. "Galen  raised his arms to encompass the scene before them and said, "I hereby christen thee Eden."

Katherine took a deep breath, inhaling the mingled fragrances of a hundred different flowers. "Why are we here?"

Galen didn't answer right away but walked to a nearby tree and reached around behind it. "Picnic" he said as he produced a basket from behind the tree.

Katherine began to laugh. "I didn't know that you know what a picnic is."

"I know many things, Katherine." He held out his hand and led Katherine to a grassy spot beside the lake.

He opened the basket and unfolded a red, checkered blanket and ceremoniously spread it on the ground.

Katherine watched in amusement as he set out cheese, grapes, bread and a bottle of wine, which he immediately pointed out was non-alcoholic. "I can't believe you did all of this."

"And why not?"

"I don't know. It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing you would do." She couldn't help laughing.

"Well, my dear Katherine. Get used to it. From now on I will probably be doing a lot of things that do not seem like the sort of thing I would do."

"Oh, Galen." She moved to circle him with her arms and hug him.

"Ummm, that's comes later. Let's eat." Galen took her hand and helped her sit on the ground.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with eating and talking and lying on the blanket, watching clouds pass overhead. As the sun began to set, Katherine asked if they shouldn't leave, but it was apparent that Galen had more surprises in store for her.

The day faded, and a pale moon rose over one of the mountains. It was full and silver, and it light was captured by the ripples in the lake and spread across the water to touch Katherine's bare feet. She did not speak but Galen could see her smile and the wonder in her eyes.

"I've never seen anything so lovely." She said after a few minutes.


"Wait?" She looked at Galen who was pointing lower on the horizon. "There."

Katherine followed the path of his finger to find a second moon ascending from behind the mountains. Smaller in size and rose in color.  Once again Katherine was at a loss for words.

They sat, silently, and watched as both moons climbed higher into the sky. The glow from the smaller moon, mixed its rose light with the silver on the lake, and night birds began to waken. It was Galen who broke the silence.

"Shall we have a swim?"

"A swim?"

"Katherine, are you having a problem with your hearing? You seem to be repeating everything I say."

"No, I'm just............................................................................................." she sighed. There were no way to express how she felt at this moment.

"So," Galen stood up. "A moonlight swim, then?'

"I have no swim suit, Galen."

He smiled, and as always, that smile made her heart beat a little quicker. "We don't need suits."

Swimming nude in the warm, shimmering waters of the lake, Katherine wondered if this was what Eden was really like. They made love back on shore, on the red checkered blanket, and she had no doubt at all that this was truly paradise.

As they lay in each other's arms, Katherine staring up at the stars,  Galen was very silent until he said something that Katherine had not thought she would ever hear from him.

"Katherine...................................I love you."

She raised on one elbow to look at him. And she saw it in his eyes. He did love her, and she had not expected or hoped that he would. She thought he would be content with a sexual relationship, and for that reason she had told herself that she would be too.

"Well," he cleared his throat. "You don't have to say anything right now. You can think about it and ........"

She put her forefinger to his lips to silence him. "I don't need to think about it, Galen." Her hand caressd his cheek. "I love you. I've loved you from the moment I saw those stars on the ceiling in your bedroom."

He leaned forward and kissed her, then pulled her back into his arms. They lay in silence again as her fingers drew circles in  the hair on his chest.

"Galen, I'm a little frightened though."

"Because we're different?"


"Katherine, do you remember the mist on the mountains today?"

She nodded.

"I think love is like walking into that mist. All that's on the other side is unknown, but you have to take the chance if what you want is important enough to you."

Katherine raised her head to kiss Galen's neck, then snuggled back into his arms and thought about his words.


Galen's ship was back aboard the Excalibur before 5 the next morning. Katherine sat beside him in silence for a few seconds after the engines stopped.

"Well." She said.

"Well?" Galen asked.

"Back to reality."

"But" he whispered. "Reality with a future."

"So, what does a woman do when she's  in love with a technomage?" She smiled at him.

He reached over, took her hand, raised it to lips, then said. "She loves him."

"And what does a technomage do when he's  in love with a mere human?"

His eyes met and held hers

"He worships her."

                                                                              **end part one**