Narviat, noble Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire, had Saavik pinned quite thoroughly beneath him. His smile was that of a predator. “Now, do I have your complete attention?”

Saavik’s eyebrow lifted dryly as she engaged the disciplines to ease her breathing. “I do believe so.”

“Excellent. I despise having to repeat myself.” He shifted ever so slightly to make himself more comfortable, keeping the crushing grip on her wrists firmly in place, and blew an errant sweaty lock of hair out of his face. He took a moment to get his own breathing under control. “I should inform you that you are being unnecessarily difficult.”

She narrowed her eyes. “As I noted earlier, I do not recognize your authority.”

His grin grew sharper. “I see the Vulcans have not managed to erase your Romulan pride.” He nodded. “It is pleasing to see some of our dear Lady Evaste was entirely accurate.”

Saavik sighed. “To what do I owe the honor of this assault?”

He moved his face closer to hers. “I am looking for my wife. Have you happened to see her?”

Saavik almost frowned. “I absolutely refuse to accept responsibility for the actions of Charvanek.”

“Ah, so that would be a ‘yes’,” he nodded, rather pleased. He glanced around carefully to make sure they had not attracted any undue notice. “My personal guards are currently taking bets on the entertainment value this evening presents. As I do seem to recall a slight honor debt still outstanding, I would prefer they be sorely disappointed.” He lifted an eyebrow at her. “Would you agree?”

She studied him carefully and inclined her head. “That would be preferable.”

He studied her back and his mouth quirked. “You do not believe you are in any... threat?”

“I assure you, Praetor,” Saavik said wryly, “I am quite alarmed.”

He chuckled softly. “I see why my wife is inordinately fond of you.” He tilted his head thoughtfully and frowned. “For a Vulcan, you are quite enjoyable.”

Saavik winced. “You were inquiring as to your wife?”

“Ah, yes. It seems I am unable to locate her.”

“And the reason this is now my concern... ?”

“I find it incalculably implausible that the disappearance of my wife and the appearance of you could be entirely coincidental.”

“I assume reconfirming my ignorance would merely be futile at this point?”

“It would.”

Saavik sighed again. “May I ask how a Praetor managed to misplace the treasure of his Empire?”

He gave her a dark look. “My patience, as you may have noticed, is perilously short at the moment.”

“I have no knowledge of the current whereabouts of your wife.”

He narrowed his eyes and leaned so close his breath was on her face. “I suggest you revise that statement.”

Her eyebrow angled up. “Sir, you are in gross violation of Federation-Romulan Treaty and my personal space.”

“In the event you somehow failed to notice, you are quite at my mercy. And mercy is, as you know, a rather frail commodity of the Empire. Where is my wife?”

“I have no knowledge of her current whereabouts.”

He gave a dramatic sigh. “Very well, but for the record, I did attempt to be reasonable.” He shifted position ominously.

And abruptly released her and rose. He dusted his fine uniform off calmly. “Did I bruise you too severely?” He held out a hand.

Saavik eyed it carefully and then accepted the help to her feet. “No, thank you.” She brushed her own uniform off, glancing at the now scowling faces of his guards. “You do realize that you have greatly disappointed your subjects.”

He sighed. “I will have to kill them.” He tilted his head and smiled a very Romulan smile and shrugged. He sighed and bowed. “As much as it is always refreshing to see old allies, I believe I must turn my attention elsewhere.”

Saavik inclined her head.

He motioned his guards and turned on his heel.

Saavik pulled her communicator and snapped it open. “One to transport.” The hum of the beam began to fill the air. “Praetor.”

He paused and glanced back over his shoulder, eyebrow lifting.

Her dark eyes glinted. “You may wish to improve your interrogation techniques. The operative word was current.” And she disappeared in a shower of gold.

He swore.