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The first time Julian had personally experienced the effects of the Mal'vek after moving in with Garak on Cardassia, it had come somewhat as a shock. He had been late for a meeting and a data padd had slipped from his sweaty fingers in his hurry. Dropping to all fours to fish it out from under the couch he was frankly scared to death, when he was suddenly pounced by a very amorous Cardassian, who just did not take no for an answer. Needless to say Julian was quite a bit more late when he did show up for his meeting and was sporting a rather goofy grin on his face.
Having worked as a doctor on Cardassia for a while now, he was familiar with the term and had seen the effects of it on a few occasions. But the first time it manifested itself in Garak it caught him completely off guard. It might be an effect of the many years of longing and hoping, but Julian found that for three days he could not even be in the same room with his Cardassian partner, unless he wanted to be thoroughly ravished immediately. As flattering as it was, eventually they both decided that Julian would take a little trip out of town for a day or so, until it was blown over a bit. It did get quite exhausting and distracting after a while.

Knowing that it showed up roughly every six months, Julian made a little note in his calender, just to be prepared next time around. It wasn't like the condition appeared like clockwork, but at least this way he would now when the time drew near.

The first time he had heard about the condition from a Cardassian colleague at the emergency medical center he had joined in the wake of the war, he had of course let his big mouth run away with him.

“So you mean you go into heat?”

Rogan was an extremely old doctor and had in fact been retired for years, when Cardassia was suddenly in flames and he was called back to his trade. He was surprisingly open minded and accepted far more of Julian's youthful or human ideas than any other Cardassian, except perhaps Garak. But he was not above verbally flogging his young friend when he stepped in it. If nothing else, at least to spare him the wrath of less forgiving Cardassians.

“No, for the love of... Listen to what I'm saying! It's a semi-annual hormonal phenomenon experienced by most adult Cardassian men. A slight imbalance that can have a wide range of effects, from mild irritation or aggression to overly amorous feelings.”

Julian chewed his lip and tried to wrap his head around what he was being told.

“So... that's when the blue color appears on your foreheads?”

Rogan looked like he dared Julian to make another silly pointe, but patiently explained on.

“Yes, but it's not a sure indicator either. Some never have it. Some always do. And yet others only have it occasionally. It varies greatly from person to person.”

Suddenly struck by the comparison to other violent hormonal reactions he knew of, he couldn't help but wonder...

“How powerful is the reaction? Can it be ignored or suppressed?”

Busy looking through some boxes for the last of a certain hypospray, Rogan's answer sounded a bit off hand.

“Some men can I suppose. It depends a lot on the circumstances. If it's mild and there are no major external influences, there should be no worry. If it's more strongly felt... well...”

Julian paled at the thought of a fully matured Cardassian on a hormonal rampage.

“It could be dangerous...”

This made Rogan turn to face him with a serious gaze.

“Look, just because we have a hormonal imbalance does not turn us into maniacs every six months. Most adults know how to control themselves enough to deal with it. Some younger men occasionally get into trouble, but with age one learns to recognize the signs and seek quiet and solitude when the imbalance manifests.”

Nodding and looking at his shoes, Julian wondered if he would offend Rogan by asking what was on his mind. Apparently his thoughts were very obvious, because the old man beat him to it as soon as he looked up.

“You want to know what it does to me.”

Julian let out the breath he didn't realize he had been holding.

“Yes... I've never noticed anything...”

Rogan smiled at him with amusement.

“You wouldn't. I'm too old. Around the age of sixty, we stop having them. Much to the regret of my wife.”

The last bit was said in an undertone, but still made Julian smirk.

Months later he was making his way home from his impulsive visit to Rogan in his relatively secluded home village. Julian smiled fondly at the memory of how the older man had lost control completely and laughed his head off, when he blushing from head to toe had mumbled the reason for the sudden visit. He was cause for several crude jokes from some of Rogan's ancient, but merry friends who found him very amusing, not to mention the smirks from Rogan every time Garak was mentioned. But it was all in good humor and he had returned home to a much more relaxed lover, who had succeeded in sitting through an entire dinner before ravishing him again.

Roughly six months after that, Julian was preparing for a trip off the planet surface to officially resign from Starfleet. It was a formal affair that didn't usually take long, but he had been pressured into presenting all his reports and personal observations from his time on Cardassia to the medical board before formally resigning. Julian wasn't too happy about it, but had grudgingly agreed in the end to stop the lengthy arguments about it.

He would be gone two days and was just packing his last clothes when he noticed something slightly off about his lover. Garak was fussing about the bedroom, smoothing creases on the bedspread, fiddling with the curtains and in general seeming unable to keep still. After a few moments of worry, he remembered what time of the year it was. Well, talk about perfect timing with the trip and all.

Blushing at the thought of Garak's reaction last time, Julian hurriedly finished packing and prepared to go. Garak was indeed unusually passionate in his goodbye and Julian felt slightly bad having to almost pry him off when he had to leave. But he would make it up to him when he came home. They would both have a few days to themselves, so the... distractions would not be a problem.

On his way to the shuttle he passed the small tailor shop Garak had taken him to occasionally, being of the general opinion that Julian was either colorblind or fashion handicapped. Also, he had tried to deny it, but Julian had spotted him in there from time to time, enjoying a chat about his former profession with the very esteemed owner Velgar Nornek. He knew Garak fairly well, having had him as a steady customer since his return to Cardassia and had also employed his help in restoring the shop to open business, even though it surprisingly enough had only suffered mild damage in the general devastation.

Suddenly Julian was struck with the idea of surprising Garak with a new outfit as a way of making up for almost fleeing his embrace, and perhaps tease the Cardassian a bit. It wasn't often he got the chance to see his lover completely out of control, but when it happened, it had always been worth it. So if he could push just the right buttons, maybe he would be able to fish out that shock wave of passion that was Garak at his most unguarded. The one he only very rarely displayed, even to Julian.

Checking the time, he decided he could easily catch the next shuttle in a hour instead. He would only be slightly late, and frankly he didn't care about offending Starfleet. They were being quite rude about his resignation as it was, so he felt no desire to go out of his way for them.

Stepping into the empty shop, Nornek recognized him immediately.

“Ah, Doctor Bashir! Here on your own today?”

Julian smiled and deposited his bags by the door.

“Yes. I know Garak has the greatest respect for your sense of style, so I thought I might surprise him with one of your tailored delights.”

Nornek apparently didn't mind the thick flattery and the twinkle in his eye reminded Julian a lot of Garak when he knew there was more to it than was said openly. But thankfully, Nornek was not the type to obfuscate things. At least not when it came to his business.

“Always glad to oblige. What kind of outfit did you have in mind?”

Noticing the slight blush on the doctor's face, Nornek couldn't help but smirk. He had a sneaking suspicion what this might be about.

“Well... you see it's... a special time for Garak, and I want an outfit that... compliments... uhm... “

Nornek had never been a torturer, because frankly, he didn't like to see people suffer. So he mercifully interjected;

“You want something beautiful, perhaps even a little daring, for Garak's Mal'vek?”

Julian's eyes flew open and his jaw dropped. Nornek laughed and led Julian through the shop to the back.

“Oh if you only knew how many regular customers I have wanting special clothes for their loved one's Mal'vek... I think I have just the thing, even for a non-Cardassian.”

Less than an hour later, Julian was having the final measurements taken for what even he considered a very bold outfit. He considered timing how many seconds it would take for Garak to get him out of it, and not for the first time during his fitting wondered if he should even go forth with this rather daring attempt of teasing his lover. But still, he couldn't help but smile at the thought of what they would most likely be doing the next few days after his return. As they both had time off for once, there was surely no better time for an intense lovemaking marathon.

Nornek promised to have the outfit done by the time Julian returned and even went so far as sell him a traditional perfume called Shomesh, often used at weddings and other ceremonies regarding lovers. It was said to increase stamina and enhance the pleasure of lovemaking quite a bit, and Julian had only bought it to stop himself blurting out how that was hardly necessary. He didn't consider actually using it, until Nornek remarked with a wicked grin that it also had a soothing effect on certain intimate areas, and was consequently a very popular product for same sex couples.

That was just about as much as Julian could take, and he fled from the shop blushing so badly he wondered if he was smoking from his ears.

The trip went smoothly, albeit with the annoying continuing theme of him being considered something like a traitor for leaving Starfleet to live on Cardassia. But when things got really frustrating, he would think of the outfit and smile. Oh Garak would feel the torture for once. Providing of course that Julian could hold him off for long enough to even have a good look.

Finally back on Cardassia, he went by the shop and picked up the clothes. Trying them on made him blush again. Wow... it really was daring. But so much the better. Nornek showed him how to apply the perfume to best effect and gave him a very appreciative glance in the mirror. Despite it's racy appearance, the clothes fit perfectly and were very comfortable. He gladly paid the cost for the special outfit and just about skipped home to his lover.

Garak had spent most of his day reading in a quiet room, hoping to be able to at least sit through a welcome home dinner with his partner. Julian practically fled from his embrace when he came though the door, much to his chagrin, but he was duely rewarded when Julian appeared for dinner.

He was just putting the finishing touches on the dinner table in the dimly lit living room when Julian came in. The centrally positioned fireplace was ablaze and the flames danced on the walls, making the whole room seem alive. Garak looked up from the table as Julian approached and promptly dropped the cutlery he had been holding. He had never seen anything like this.

Julian's bare feet set shallow imprints on the soft carpet and he looked like he was almost floating instead of walking. It was a very simple outfit of a very light and breezy tunic, tight hugging pants cut off at the knee and nothing else. But the effect was stunning. The creme colored, short tunic made his skin glow in the firelight and it was cleverly fashioned, so that it showed off just a tantalizing hint of his shapely collarbone and shoulders whenever he moved. The fabric was so light that the short, loose sleeves flowed, even though he approached Garak very slowly.

The pants were a deep brownish red, that seemed to almost meld with the darkened surroundings but hugged so close to Julian's skin that he might as well have been naked from the waist down. Stopping below the kneecap with just a tiny slit on each side to show off the back of the knee at each step, they were also made of a fabric light enough to leave very little to the imagination.

And just as Garak thought this dreamy vision of his lover couldn't get any more tempting, he caught a whiff of the perfume applied to his collarbone, as Nornek had kindly instructed. Garak dropped his jaw completely and he simply froze to the spot, mesmerized by the utter delight stopping only two steps away.

Ever self concious, Julian could not help but ask:

“Well? What do you think?”

Garak blinked as if he hardly understood the question and his voice was reduced to a croaking whisper when he finally replied.

“My dear... You've left me speechless... quite a feat I might add.”

Julian blushed yet again and smiled at the carpet. The silence was very pregnant indeed while Garak got his wits together again.

“Julian... my dear Julian... how did you ever imagine we would get through dinner with you looking like that?”

Until now, Julian had not noticed, but Garak's hands were shaking, as if he was employing every shred of self control not to reach out for his prize. Wickedly delighted that he had succeeded in his quest to tease mercifully, Julian decided to see how far he could take it. Boldly raising his eyes to Garak's he smiled and carefully sat down at the table.

“I would imagine we sit down, talk, eat. The usual.”

Garak looked like he could hardly believe his ears.

“Are you teasing me Julian?”

Licking his lips a fair bit slower than usual, he replied:

“Perhaps I am. I learned from the best after all.”

Even in the darkened room Julian noticed how the impression on Garak's forehead suddenly colored and realized what a dangerous game he was playing. The uncertainty must have showed in his eyes because Garak suddenly backed away and said with some urgency:

“I could never hurt you my dear, but if you're not completely sure you want this, then I would suggest you leave the room. Now.”

Julian crossed his arms across his chest, forcing Garak to squeeze his eyes shut as the tunic rumpled and revealed a lot more than a glimpse of that beautiful collarbone.

“Elim I have only one thing to ask. Has your Mal'vek ever made you aggressive?”

Sensing where things were going, Garak stepped a shivering step closer again.

“No. Never. Moody, energetic and very, very lustful. But never aggressive. Not even when the delights of my desires were denied me.”

Again he was close enough to smell that perfume. It did something primal to his senses and he had a feeling that it was just about too late for Julian to back out if he decided to do so. So he closed his eyes and resorted to begging.

“Please. If you don't want this, go. Now.”

Julian saw the pained expression on his lover's face and decided he had taken it as far as he ever would. He never wished to hurt Garak. In one fluid motion he stood and opened his arms.

“I want it.”

Garak flung himself against his lover with a strangled cry;

“Oh beloved...”

And then Julian was being devoured. Completely unable to control himself any longer, Garak slammed Julian against the wall and ground their bodies tightly together. The combination of the perfume, the shivering of his lover and the rough undulations of their bodies had Julian as achingly aroused as Garak within seconds. His uncontrolled moaning in Garak's ear seemed only to increase the urgency and the stocky Cardassian practically flattened his human lover against the wall with his needy grinding and rubbing.

The gray hands were everywhere at once. Squeezing, stroking, tugging and scratching at every intimate spot and anything else they could reach. It was simply too much. Only a few more moments of the intense sensations was enough for them both to climax where they stood, shaking and panting. But Garak's Mal'vek tolerated no intermission, and Julian was practically thrown onto the nearby couch, while they both stripped frantically.

Julian only just managed to get his own garments off before his lover was back pressing him deeply into the cushions. He tried to return the frenzied touches bestowed on him, but Garak was merciless in his haze of passion and in the end Julian simply let himself be swept away. The powerful hands kneaded and squeezed everywhere, occasionally bruising, but always left Julian feeling even more intensely sexual. Maybe it was the perfume or simply the passion of the moment, but he didn't really feel the pain. The bruises made his blood pound and he felt every beat of his heart deep in his gut, fuelling his lust incredibly.

Teeth marked his shoulder, ridges rubbed roughly against his nipples, nails scratched his thighs and he was just about to scream with pleasure when Garak slipped between his legs and claimed him without further preparation. There was pain, but it was blocked out thoroughly by the deafening rush of his pulse through his whole body. Usually this was the part where the satisfying end would be approaching, but this was different. Powered by the call of the Mal'vek, Garak was either unwilling or unable to end it anytime soon.

Ruthlessly thrusting, seemingly never tiring, Garak made his lover cry out again and again from the pure pleasure overload. Julian's eyes were shut most of the time simply because he was unable to handle more input. But after a while he risked a glance at his lover. The sight forced him to keep his eyes open. The vision above him was hypnotizing.

Garak was a different color than usual. His pale grey skin was flushed to a darker steel with a bluish glow to it, highlighted by the now dark blue imprint on his forehead. His half closed eyes fixed on Julian were so glazed over that they seemed black in the dim light. His hair had fallen out of it's usual fixated state and was creating a gleaming black curtain over half his face, pronouncing the shadows of his ridges. His facial expression was a frightening animalistic grimace. Teeth bared, nostrils widened and his body so tense that his neck ridges seemed twice their normal size.

Slightly worried at the sight, Julian reached up and gently stroked the flushed cheek. The dark eyes opened a fraction more and cleared up until Garak was visible again behind the animal. Julian smiled and moved against his lover, silently asking for more. For a moment the being claiming him was all Garak again in it's surprise, but feeling the added pleasure of the soft body moving with and against him the beast of passion clawed it's way out again. The pace quickened and the force increased to a point where Julian even in his fogged over mind wondered just how much his body could handle.

Quite apart from his conscious mind, his human body was in a purely instinctive mode, keeping up with the Cardassian primal claiming making them both burn. The final climax rapidly approaching was a force of nature, a power impossible to ignore or suppress. The wave could be felt closing in as if from far away, pushed closer with each thrust. And then it hit. Julian screamed until his lungs burned and Garak tumbled over the edge right after him, hissing out his carnal release before collapsing heavily on the sweat streaked form beneath him.

The next long minutes were a roar of heavy breathing. Julian felt slightly dizzy and sore but very buzzed and happy. Garak was draped over him, practically covering his whole body, resting his head on Julian's heaving chest. Still joined, Julian felt the powerful beat of Garak's heart in his most intimate of places and smiled in the dark room. Finally their breathing slowed and they lay for the longest time simply resting and gently stroking flushed skin.

“Julian my dear... remind me to pay a visit to Nornek in a few days.”

Raising his head to meet Julian's smiling eyes Garak grinned wickedly, obviously in control of himself again.

“Oh? Are you going to make him regret he was ever born, helping me play such a dirty trick on you?”

Giving Julian's thigh a loving squeeze his eyes twinkled.

“On the contrary... he has been begging me for the name of my former suppiler of Tholian silk and I have not until now seen any reason to provide it. But I would say he has deserved a reward for this. Even I could not have dreamed up a design so simple and yet so effective. Oh and I assume it was he who sold you the Shomesh?”

Julian felt tongue tied and simply nodded.

“Also, I must say it was a delightful detail being barefooted.”

Noticing the puzzled look on his lover's face, Garak chuckled.

“Nornek didn't tell you the significance of that, did he?”

Feeling like he was doing nothing but blushing, Julian almost feared the reason behind this.

“No... he just said it was a nice touch to complete the outfit.”

Garak's look was hungry again as he reached up and kissed the soft, trembling lips.

“You see, my dear... being barefooted at celebrations as a young woman signals virginity. It's considered very desirable, but is only intended for one's permanent partner. Young men don't often do it, unless appealing to the desires of another man. It's traditional for a girl to be barefooted at her wedding or engagement. And of course on the wedding night.”

The small surprised 'oh' from his flushed lover's swollen lips made Garak's blood rush with renewed passion and before anything else could be said, Julian was being ravished yet again.

It was going to be a couple of long but glorious days.

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