ruth-black Ruth Black

Va'rop Blarzodh, a Dehmo Empire warrior, marries Bhodima, a Katchik woman, in an arranged honor marriage, a Katchik marriage in name only. They eventually meet in person and start a family; first on the space station he's stationed on then, years later, on his home planet of Dehmo, beginning a legacy that would last centuries.

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An Arranged Marriage

Deep Space

Beta Quadrant

October 2687


The man was dying. Two years after losing his beloved wife in a pod accident, he was days away from reuniting with her. His only true regret was that his daughter, who had just recently escaped from an abusive relationship, would soon be all alone.

He was concerned for her safety, and rightfully so. They had no other family. He thought of an old friend of his from the war thirty years earlier.

“Maybe he'll be able to help me find a solution.”, he said, then sent a live stream request to his friend.

“V'etokh, I'm dying. I need your help, and your advice. I don't know who else I can trust or turn to.”, he said when his friend appeared onscreen.

He told him his predicament. After talking things over, his friend came up with an idea. He agreed to it wholeheartedly. She begged and pleaded with him to reconsider. He told her it was too late. She was already married.

She realized that, since she had no other male relatives, she truly had no choice in the matter.

V'etokh then sent a live stream request to a freighter in deep space.


Deep Space

Dehmo Empire territory

October, 2687


Commander Va'rop Blarzodh was in his cabin after working all day.

Like all Dehmos, Va'rop's skin was flesh-toned, and he had ridges that lay flat on his temples and the bridge of his nose. He had no markings, though, as many other races did.

He had medium brown hair that came down just below his shoulders. A gentle bear of a man, he was quite tall, 6'5", extremely muscular, with six-pack abs and a chestful of hair. He had a physique that could take your breath away.

At 32 years of age, he was the first officer, known in the Empire as the ship's second-in-command.

Va'rop was a widower. His marriage had produced a son. His wife had died when the boy was 3.

The son was now twelve. He lived on the ship with Va'rop. Va'rop was estranged from his family, and had been for years, after being kicked out by his father when he was 15.

Va'rop and his son, Ta'rokh, visited Dehmo often when he was on Leave, going camping and doing other fun father-son activities.

Ta'rokh was a miniature Va'rop. At 12 years of age, he was well on his way to being as tall as his dad!

One evening, Va'rop received a live stream from a former Academy instructor.

After a few minutes of pleasantries, his friend got down to the main reason for the live stream.

“My friend's dying, Va'rop. He has a daughter. She's recently escaped from an abusive relationship.

”Her father would like her to have some sort of protection after he dies.

“I need you to marry her.”, V'etokh explained.

“WHAT?”, Va'rop asked, shocked. He couldn't believe his ears.

“You heard me. I need you to marry her, sight unseen.

Va'rop slumped back on his couch.

”Marry a...complete stranger? Sight unseen? Really?

“Aren't there any other arrangements you and he can make for his daughter that don't include me?.“ V'etokh shook his head.

”What's her name?“, Va'rop asked after a minute.

”I can't tell you.“, he replied.

”What do you mean you can't tell me?“, Va'rop asked.

”I don't know what it is. Spouses in marriages that are in name only never know the name of their spouse.

“She doesn't know your name either. All she knows is you're the friend of one of her dad's friends, your last name, and that you're a career military officer.“

“Wow! How old is she? Am I allowed to know that?”, Va'rop asked.

“I don't know her age. I assume she's abit younger than you, but I'm not sure. My friend assured me, though, that she's of legal age.

”He did say she's rather plain looking, not at all a great beauty. Her ex is abusive, and my friend wants her protected after he's gone.

”They have no male relatives to protect her, which is required by their family custom.

“Marrying her will keep her safe, and he can pass comforted with the knowledge that she'll be protected.“

Va'rop thought for a moment, trying to process this life-changing news. As a father himself, he knew he'd do anything he could to protect his son. This other father was only trying to do the same for his daughter.

“Va'rop, this will be a marriage in name only. They call it an Honor Marriage. The two of you never have to communicate with each other, or even see what the other looks like.

”The marriage is to provide her with protection after her dad dies, which will be very soon. Her mother died two years ago.

“She'll have her own place, and has a job. You won't need to support her financially at all.”, his friend told him.

“So I'm marrying this lady to give her protection? I'll be married but never intimate, never making love to my wife? I never get to hold her in my arms and tell her I love her, hear her tell me she loves me, or taste her lips as she's kissing me?

”We don't have to communicate with each other at all? We'll be married, husband and wife, yet complete strangers?

“That's not the kind of marriage I want! It's certainly not what I want one day for my boys.“, Va'rop said sourly.

”I know Va'rop, I know. But this would really mean alot to me, and to my friend. I owe him.

“He didn't have to save my life, but he did nonetheless.

”Please, Va'rop. Help me pay my debt. Marry her. Besides, all the legal paperwork's already filled out.“, his friend said.


”It's already done. You're a married man, Va'rop. Congratulations!“

”WHAT? WHAT THE HELL? WHAT DID YOU DO? WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO ME, V'etokh?“, Va'rop yelled. Looking straight into his friend's eyes, Va'rop said calmly,

“I was married before you sent the live stream request, wasn't I?“

”I'm sorry Va'rop. I'd normally never do this to you, or to anybody, but this is very important.

”You're a good man, Va'rop. That's why I immediately thought of you. I know she'll be safe being your wife.“

“I planned on proposing to Heikha next month. I even bought her a ring! I can't marry this woman! Annul the marriage!“

”I'm sorry, Va'rop. I can't. There's no way out of it. I had to ensure my debt was paid before he passed. I wanted to ensure he'd be able to be at peace when he passes.

“Va'rop, if you saw what that monster did to her, you'd tear him apart with your bare hands. He beat her simply because some guy whistled at her. He had his way with her, then beat her again!

”You don't even have to be faithful to her! You can continue your relationship with Heikha if you want. Just don't marry her.“, he said.

”Then arrange to have her brought to live with you or to me here. She'll know my name but, most importantly, she'll have protection.

“I truly wish I could, Va'rop, but their family tradition is very clear in this particular type of marriage. I'm sorry.”, V'etokh replied.

“V'etokh, tell me her name or, so help me, I WILL find a way to get this farce of a marriage annulled!”, Va'rop exclaimed.

“Va'rop, I can't. According to the rules for Honor Marriages, names, ages, and locations are supposed to be kept secret from the couple. I'm sorry.

”Normally only the parents know the couple's identities. Please try to understand, Va'rop. If I knew her name and age, I'd tell you. I've told you all I know about her. Just please, Va'rop, let me help my friend. Marry his daughter.“


Despite asking her father before he died, Va'rop's wife wasn't told her husband's name.

All he told her, other than he was a friend of a friend of his, was that he was a career military officer. She was told his last name, however, since that was now her last name.

Her father put the marriage license and certificate in a sealed envelope and gave it to her, making her promise she'd never open the envelope unless she truly needed him, per the custom in Honor Marriages.

She gave him her word.

Va'rop broke up with his girlfriend. He and Ta'rokh transferred to a deep space station.

She filed assault, battery, and rape charges against her ex-boyfriend, reaching a very lucrative financial settlement with his family, who were very wealthy and wanted to keep the charges from going public.

He was subsequently sentenced to ongoing anger management therapy, and a permanent Restraining Order was imposed as part of his sentence.


With only one or two rare exceptions, no-one knew of their marriage.

They were faithful to each other, not even casually dating anyone.

At weddings and other gatherings, his friends would ask him when he was going to get married again.

He'd simply tell them he was picky.

He frustrated strippers at bachelor parties he attended for friends. He was known as “Colonel Hands-Off” by them. He refused lap dances, not even letting them kiss him.


For her part, she lived her life very simply. After her father died two weeks after the wedding, she'd settled his estate, sold the family home, and rented a two-bedroom apartment in another province.

A few years later, she moved after a bad experience with some tenants in her apartment building.

They hadn't taken very well to her turning down their sexual advances.

Her new home was a two-bedroom apartment in a nice part of town.

Her Gathering Room was fairly large, as were the bedrooms. Her bathroom and kitchen were small but functional.

She now lived ten miles from work, and took the public transport pod to and from work. Living extremely close to public transportation, she didn't see the sense in buying a pod, despite knowing how to fly one and having a license to do so.

When going on vacation, she'd rent a pod. She liked her apartment too much to move somewhere closer to work.

She worked at the same place for years. She enjoyed her work and coworkers too much to look for a job closer to her new apartment.

She didn't have alot of friends other than her lifelong best friend and her friend's husband. She went shopping with her on payday so she could buy groceries and other things at the megamart, where the prices were better than the grocery store and boutiques down the street from her.

The young woman thought about her mystery husband often, dreaming that they were living a nice life together, complete with children. Every night as she got into bed, she said the same thing:

”Goodnight, husband. I hope you are staying safe. Someday I hope to meet you, Mr. Blarzodh. If and when that happens, I hope you will be happy with me, and that you'll be kind to me. I pray you'll never hit or beat me.

“Do you ever think of me? Although you don't know me, does the thought of me ever bring a smile, however fleeting, to your face? I hope it does, husband.

”The thought of you brings a smile to my face. I don't know who you are or even where you are but, in my own insignificant way, I truly love you! Goodnight, husband, my dear own sweet husband!“

Oct. 14, 2021, 5:05 a.m. 1 Report Embed Follow story
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MA Mark Anthony
I wanted to read your story. But I cannot see where it’s cutoff at the right side edges. I’m on my phone. So don’t know if that makes a difference?
March 12, 2022, 03:48
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