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Sapphires, Diamonds and Emeralds

[Ens. Amissa, Callsign “Emerald”|Personal Quarters|Sapphire Station|2380]
Amissa returned to her quarters and stripped off her duty uniform with a heavy sigh. It had been a long day of training. Her previous RIO, Ruby, had suddenly grown ill and had been taken away by Medical. Amissa had never seen her again after that, but the next day she had been told by her flight leader, Lieutenant “Garnet” V’Lise, that she would need a new RIO and one would be sent in the next few weeks. That had been six weeks ago and Amissa was still waiting for a new one. In the meantime, Garnet had assigned her to relentless hours of training. She really hoped the newbie would show up soon. Of course, that would probably mean more grueling hours of training under the scrutinous eye of Lieutenant V’Lise as she and the new RIO learned how to work together as a team.

Amissa collapsed into her bunk not even bothering with the shower just yet. There would be time for that later. What she really needed right now was to relax, and since she was alone, she decided to engage in one of her more favorite pastimes, which was how her new RIO and roommate found her. She was just reaching the climax of her pleasuring when she heard a polite but embarrassed clearing of the throat.

“Umm, excuse me.” Amissa shot up out of her bunk. “Who are you? What are you doing in my quarters?” The man once more cleared his throat and looked down, and Amissa grinned realizing he was feeling embarrassed by her nudity. Shrugging, she quickly pulled on her bra and panties and slipped a long shirt over her lithe body. “Better?”

As the man looked back up at her, she took him in herself. He was tall, possibly just over six feet, athletic build with dark hair and brown eyes. The human man wore a white collar with an Ensign pip and she wondered if he wasn’t her new RIO. “Uh, yes ma’am. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to interrupt--”

“Nonsense, Ensign. It is I who should apologize. I knew my RIO was due to arrive at any time, but I just wasn’t expecting you quite this soon. You are my new RIO, aren’t you?” The man stepped forward and extended his hand in greeting. “Yes, Adam Walker. I don’t have a callsign yet. I was told I would receive that when I got here.”

Great. Straight from the Academy. How did I get so lucky? V’Lise is going to have a field day with this one. Not that she was going to complain. He was definitely easy on the eyes. She stepped forward and took the offered hand, a broad smile growing on her face.

“Alright! Nice to meet you! I am Amissa, but they call me Emerald. That’s my callsign too.”

“What a strange name. I wonder why they called you that?” He said it with such a straight face, and so deadpan, that she wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. However, he gripped her hand and shook it enthusiastically, yet gently. Amissa was pretty sure by that act that she was dealing with one of those humans who was inherently decent. Such a far cry from the type of environment in which she had been raised, where everyone was suspicious of everyone and each person pursued her or his own pleasure over everything else.

“Well Adam, let’s get you settled in, shall we?”

[ONE WEEK LATER - Flight Operations Center, Training Holodeck]

[Bank to port, Wolf 5. Watch your closure rate.][/br]

I know what I am doing, you bloody Vulcan. I don’t need a fucking babysitter.

“Walker, have you got them yet? I feel like a sitting target right now.” She added her own eyes to the task, but had no luck spotting the bogeys. A sudden blip on her radar was followed by Adam letting her know he had located them.

“I have them on sensors, Emerald, but they are just too fast. They’re staying just outside the weapons envelope and firing arcs. You’re going to need to get closer.”

[Decrease your turn radius, Wolf 5. Let them come to you.]

“Copy that.” Amissa adjusted her engines so that the fighter was making a very tight turn. If the enemy’s evasive maneuvers held true, it would bring them right into her vessel’s firing arc and optimum target range.

“I have a lock, Emerald. Fire!” Emerald fired the weapons, watching a pair of phaser bursts streak out even as a pair of micro torpedoes streaked in behind. The phasers would drain the enemy shields enough that the torpedo would punch through and finish off the target.

Even as the weapons struck the enemy fighter in rapid succession, a loud, steady tone sounded in the cockpit, changing octaves as the computer indicated enemy target lock. A shaking of the fighter, followed by the scene disappearing to be replaced by a black and yellow grid, revealed that they had been “killed.”

Letting out a frustrated growl, she accepted Adam’s hand as he lifted her off the deck. She turned to face Garnet, trying her best to contain her anger. Is she smirking? I swear that Vulcan is smirking at me!

“Good job, Emerald. You’re dead.”

Amissa would have launched herself at the smug Vulcan woman had not Adam stepped between her and the senior officer. “Emerald, no. She’s not worth it. You’ll just face a court martial and she will still be here. Besides, she’s just trying to make us better at what we do.”

“You should listen to your RIO, Ensign. In fact, had you listened to him earlier in the fight, it would have had a much different outcome. Your problem is that you don’t pay attention to what others say.”

Although Amissa was furious with her, she knew Garnet was correct. She had been reckless and two other members of her flight had died. And her final stunt had gotten her and Walker killed. And until Garnet was satisfied the two of them could work together as a team, she wouldn’t be flying for real. And Adam wouldn’t get a call sign until actual flights began. She turned to her RIO as the pair of them exited the training holodeck.

“I’m sorry, Adam. I’m sure you’re quite eager to get out there, and I blew it. Again.”

“Nonsense, Emerald. We’ll get there. You seem to be a good pilot, you just need to learn to trust the others around you.”

“I know you’re right. It’s just hard for me to do.”

They rounded the corridor and were soon at their assigned quarters. It had been a bit of adjustment for Adam to learn to share a room with the Orion woman, but Amissa felt he was getting more comfortable with her.

“May I ask why you have such a hard time working in a group? I mean, no offense, Emerald, but that seems to be a pretty important quality in our line of work.”

Amissa went over to her part of the room, and removed her uniform, being conscientious not to take too much off. Adam seemed to get quite flustered when she did that. Reaching into her dresser, she pulled out a comfortable, loose gown with spaghetti straps and slipped it over her head. Adam, she noticed, had also gone to his area and was changing his own clothes. She watched him with interest and waited until he was done to answer her question. He turned around to see her staring at him and once more developed that delightful rosie blush in his cheeks.

“Well, I was raised as a slave. And I am sure even you know what that means for an Orion woman. Not that I minded, of course, but that life left little room for trusting others.”

She halfway expected to see that look of pity on his face that others held when they learned of her past. She didn’t understand why. For her, it was a marvellous honor to be chosen for such a life. Of course, that had changed when the Syndicate had decided she knew too much and needed to be eliminated. But even then, her lack of trust in others had helped her survive. Even that freighter captain didn’t have her full trust, but she was pretty desperate at that point. But Adam never got that look on his face. It remained calm, unshakeable, focused entirely on her and her story.

“Okay, Emerald. That’s pretty fair, I would say. But you’re not in that life anymore. You’re in Starfleet. You’re a fighter pilot. You need to trust us and we need to trust you. And we can’t do that if we’re worried that you might do something reckless.”

He doesn’t trust me? He’s my RIO. If he can’t trust me, how can I expect the others too? He’s right, of course….

“...but how do I do that?”
She hadn’t realized she had finished that thought aloud until Adam replied. “Start with me, Emerald. Start with me. Let me be your anchor. Trust me and maybe the rest will come with time.”
“Well, sadly, you are my best friend right now, so I guess I could start with you.” She punctuated the statement with a little smile to show him that she was feeling a bit better.
“Well, I am flattered, I guess. And here I thought diamonds were a girl’s best friend.”

[FIVE WEEKS LATER - Flight Operations Center, Training Holodeck]

“Wolf 2 is on our port flank. Wolf 3 starboard flank. Wolf 4 aft. We have five bogeys dead ahead. Thirty seconds to contact.”
“I have it, Diamond. Get me a firing solution and countdown. Flight leader, do we have permission to engage?”
[Confirmed, Wolf 5. Weapons hot. Permission to engage has been granted. I have the lead. Wolf 5 on my wing.]
“Confirmed, Wolf 4.” Amissa throttled back to let the flight leader pass her, then re-engaged her engines to fall in behind Garnet.
The four Valkyrie MkII fighters engaged the enemy vessels and in very short order had eliminated four of the five targets.
[Wolf 3 to Wolf 4. I am out of torps and pretty banged up. Can you guys get that last bogey?]

[Negative Wolf 3. I am out of it myself. Wolf 5, Wolf 2, you’re up. Emerald, you have the lead]

“Copy that, Garnet. We’re on it. Diamond, get me a good solution and track him. Let’s nail that sonofabitch.”
“I’m with you, Emerald. Tracking it now. They should be inside our weapons envelope in fifteen seconds. Sending location to you.”
“Got it, Diamond. Wolf 2, coming to heading 3-3-2 mark 1-4. Stay with me.”
[On your six, Emerald. Take that motherfucker out.]
Amissa banked over and sped up her fighter. Ten seconds later, her readout showed they were in targeting range. She could have fired, but she waited for confirmation from Adam first.
“Target lock in 3-2-1. Got him! Fire!”
Amissa fired a full spread of phasers and micro torpedoes, destroying the final target in a brilliant ball of flame. The scene faded and she was standing in the holodeck, along with Diamond, Garnet and the other pilots from the simulation.
The Vulcan flight leader approached her, her face stoic as usual. “Congratulations, Wolf 5. You have both earned the right to fly with the rest of the wing. I am pleased, Emerald, that you have learned to trust the rest of us and follow orders. You have great potential and I look forward to seeing where your career goes.”
With that statement, the Vulcan turned and exited the holodeck. As Emerald stood there stunned, the other pilots came over and congratulated her with a slap on the back as they too made their way out. Finally, it was just her and Diamond left in the holodeck.
“We did it!” Before Amissa knew what had happened, Adam swooped her up and gave her a long, lingering kiss. Her training and reflexes kicked in and she returned the affection. But Diamond quickly pulled away, once more donning that embarrassed look she so adored. “I-I’m sorry. I was just caught up in the moment.”
Amissa grinned a wicked smile and wrapped her arm through his. “No need to apologize. Why don’t we go back to our quarters and continue this conversation a bit more privately?”

OOC: So, I hope this is correct. My first time posting my own topic. Thought I would give a little bit of backstory. More to come. Enjoy!
Lt. JG Amissa | Fighter Pilot, Callsign "Emerald", USS Theurgy

Re: Sapphires, Diamonds and Emeralds

Reply #1
[Ens. Amissa, Call Sign “Emerald” | Flight Operations Center | 2380]

“Emerald! Hold up! Wait for me!” Amissa turned around to see her RIO running to catch up to her. She was pretty annoyed with him right then. The briefing had ended five minutes ago, and he had missed the whole thing. They were headed out on patrol and he didn’t even know where they were going or what the mission parameters were. If he’d been much longer, she might have been grounded for the day, and Amissa loved her time in the cockpit.

“Well, look who decided to show up,” she practically hissed at him. “Where were you? We have a patrol to fly and you missed the briefing.”

“Sorry. Sorry.” He had a very clear apologetic look on his face, so Amissa was inclined to forgive him, but he was going to have to make it up to her later, that was certain. “I got held up. Seems that there was some sort of medical emergency and they had to take someone to medical on a stretcher. The corridor was blocked and I just couldn’t get through.”

The fact that he had just told her someone was in serious medical condition hardly fazed Amissa. “And you couldn’t find another way around, or thing to comm me and let me know you were being delayed?”

“Oh. I am sorry, your mightiness. I was too busy being a caring human being to think of it. Please forgive me for my insensitivity.”

The snark in his voice was more than enough evidence to convince Amissa that she had crossed a line. Sometimes she had to remind herself that she wasn’t a property of the Syndicate anymore and it was okay to feel for other beings when they were in trouble.

“No, I am sorry. I was being an insensitive bitch again. Forgive me?” He grabbed her around her waist and pulled her close to him, his breath warm on her face. “I don’t know, Emerald. I think you have a lot of making up to do. We’ll discuss that more later. For now, we have a patrol to fly.”

Amissa’s face beamed. Her two favorite things: flying and making up after a fight. Well, technically there didn’t need to be a fight, but still, it made the experience that much better.

“Wow, you really do know how to win a girl over. Fine, let’s get going before Garnet grounds us again.”

[TEN MINUTES LATER - Wolf 5, On Patrol near Sapphire Base]

“Diamond, anything on sensors?”

“Negative, Emerald. We’re clear.”

“Copy that.” Amissa opened a channel to her flight leader to make her report.

“Wolf 5 to Wolf 4, we are not detecting anything on sensors at this time.”

[Acknowledged, Wolf 5. Maintain formation. We’ll be widening our sweep shortly. And stay alert. Intel reports indicated Romulan activity was increasing along the border.]

“Copy that, Flight Leader. Any idea what’s going on over there?”

[As it would be illogical to speculate, Ensign, not to mention irrelevant, I will withhold any thoughts I might have on the subject. Focus on your flying and leave the politics to the higher ranking officers and bureaucrats.]

“Copy, Flight Leader. Minding my own business. Wolf 5 out.” Bitch.

“Easy, Emerald. I heard that back here. Glad I cut the channel first.”

He heard that?! But I was only thinking it… Wasn’t I? Still, the doubt had crept in so she decided she needed to be certain.

“You heard what, Diamond? I am pretty sure I didn’t say anything.”

The chuckling coming from behind her told her all she needed to know. He had bluffed her into revealing herself.

“Pretty sure? So, that means you don’t know for a fact.” His pause was enough to really annoy her, and possibly panic her a bit. “Don’t worry, my angelic Emerald. You didn’t actually say anything after the channel closed. But I am starting to figure you out and I know you thought it.”

“Fine. But I didn’t say anything, Diamond. And that was a mean trick.”

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I guess that means I have some more making up I am going to have to do tonight.”

This time it was her turn to chuckle as a wicked grin spread across her face.

“There won’t be enough time for all of that making up you have to do. I am foreseeing a payment plan coming your way.”

“No doubt with Ferengi interest rates?”

She could only laugh and shake her head at that. You have no idea, mister.
Lt. JG Amissa | Fighter Pilot, Callsign "Emerald", USS Theurgy

Re: Sapphires, Diamonds and Emeralds

Reply #2
[Ens. Amissa, Call Sign “Emerald” | Flight Operations Center | 2380]
“Coming through! Out of the way!” Amissa jumped aside as the medical technicians rushed past, yet one more crewman unconscious and being worked on as they moved. It had started to become a serious problem. This was the tenth case she personally knew of, though it seemed a lot more people had begun to disappear. The worst problem was that she wasn’t hearing any scuttlebutt about what was happening.

And to top it off, the people who were suddenly falling ill were never seen again, replaced by other officers who were shipped in from Starfleet Command by way of Tactical CONN Training Base Omega. But she hadn’t seen any evidence of people being transferred off the station, ill or otherwise. Granted, she wasn’t a command officer. She was a pilot. Her job was to fly a Valkyrie and ensure the area around the station was clear of enemy threats.

They could be on the outbound transports, Amissa. Don’t be such an idiot.

Curious, even though she knew she shouldn’t be, she turned the corner of the corridor and headed in the direction the medical techs had gone. It didn’t take her long to realize that they weren’t heading toward sickbay. This was a part of the station she had never visited and she wondered why a critically ill person was being brought back here rather than to a treatment area.

Until she turned the corner and saw a door with a security contingent in front of it. Splashed across the door was a sign that read: Quarantined Area. Authorized Personnel Only.

Quarantine? What the fuck is going on here? Why hasn’t anyone said anything about a quarantine?

“Excuse me, Ensign. You are not permitted back here. I am going to have to ask you to leave.”

Amissa turned to see her Garnet standing there, looking stoic as ever, her hand’s clasped behind her back.

“Lieutenant, what the fuck? Why hasn’t anyone said anything about a quarantine?”

“Because this is none of your concern, Ensign.” Garnet placed a slight emphasis on her rank, and Amissa knew she was subtly stating that whatever was going on, it was beyond her paygrade and apparently need to know.

Amissa threw up her hands in surrender and turned to walk off. “Fine, fine. I’m gone.”

“And Ensign…,” Amissa turned to face the Vulcan woman again. “This stays here. You are not to mention this to anyone. Not even Diamond. That is an order. Do I make myself clear?”

“Perfectly, ma’am.” Amissa turned once more and made her way out. No way in hell was she keeping something like this from Diamond. He would keep his mouth shut, but she needed some backup. Whatever this was, it was big and it was secret. And one thing she had learned from the Syndicate: Secrets are dangerous.

And learning someone else’s secrets will get you killed. Or on the run.

[LATER THAT EVENING - Shared Quarters of Diamond and Emerald]

Amissa nuzzled up against Diamond, running her hands over his smooth, hard chest and planting little kisses on his neck and ear while running her free hand through his hair.

“You are amazing,” she nearly purred. Amissa had pleasured a few men in her career with the Syndicate, but none had been like Diamond. Perhaps it was the shared attraction or his pleasantly sized male member, but whatever the reason, she truly enjoyed being with him intimately. Okay, she was Orion. She enjoyed it anyway, but he was especially pleasurable to be with.

“So are you, my Orion Emerald. The most precious gem in the galaxy.”

Damn, how do I fight against that? As if I didn’t care for him enough already. Shit.

She snatched the lobe of the ear she was currently nibbling on with her teeth and gave it a firm, but gentle bite before licking his ear as she grabbed his member once more.

“You don’t have to sweet talk me, you know.”

“Maybe, love, but you seemed distracted earlier about something, so I wanted to set you at ease.”

She gave a gentle squeeze on his member as she smirked at him.

“So, I am relaxed and you are … tense. Just the way I like it. But perhaps I should help you feel more ... relaxed.”

She slid down his firm body until her face was next to his delicious piece and took him in her mouth, expertly using her tongue and years of training to bring him comfort and delight.

When they were done, she swallowed the last bit of juice and moved back up to give him a very passionate kiss.

“Amazing, as always.”

“You are too kind, Diamond. It’s going to be your undoing one day.”

“Maybe, but if you’re with me, it won’t really matter, now will it?” She nuzzled against him once more, taking in the masculine scent of his body and enjoying the feel of his smooth skin under her hands. “Well, now that we’re both a bit more relaxed, do you want to share what has been bothering you all afternoon?”

Yes. No. Maybe. I need to tell someone and if not Diamond, then who?

“Did you know that there was a quarantine ward on this station?”

Adam sat up a bit more, serious now. “A quarantine ward?”

Amissa nodded at him. “Yes. I accidentally discovered it right after lunch, and got a stern lecture from Garnet about it.”

“Perhaps you should tell me about it.”

Amissa looked up into his eyes, weighing her next decision. Once she did this, she was violating orders and risking her career, and possibly both of their lives.

“Fine. But I am under orders not to discuss this even with you, so you can’t let them know I told you.”
Diamond made a crossing sign over his chest as he replied, “Cross my heart and hope to die.”
Lt. JG Amissa | Fighter Pilot, Callsign "Emerald", USS Theurgy

Re: Sapphires, Diamonds and Emeralds

Reply #3
[Ens. Amissa, Call Sign “Emerald” |Sapphire Base Officer’s Mess | 2380]
“Amissa, this is dangerous,” Diamond whispered across the table conspiratorially. “Maybe we should just leave it alone.”

Amissa looked at Diamond’s beautiful eyes as she considered his words. He was right and she knew it. Being too curious had landed her on the run from the Orion Syndicate and from her owner. And now, here she was doing the exact same thing. Maybe she should just let it go as he said. But something was strange about the whole situation. Since she had first discovered the secret quarantine ward, she had learned of four more people falling mysteriously ill only to never be seen again. And the worst part was that no one seemed to notice or care. And the senior staff, who should have been more on top of it, acted as if they hadn’t noticed anything unusual. Of course, if there was some secret project going on, they wouldn’t want to discuss it openly, and especially not with junior officers. But that only seemed to foment her paranoia further. Could whatever was happening be the result of some secret experimentation that was being conducted on the station’s staff? If that was the case, then she felt she owed it to herself and Diamond to ensure they didn’t become the next subjects of that experiment.

“It’s dangerous to do nothing also, Diamond. People are getting sick and disappearing. What if it happens to one of us?”

Even she could hear the growing panic in her voice and Diamond reached his hand over and took hers in it, and she felt the warm strength of it giving her calm and comfort. “Nothing is going to happen to us, Emerald. If we just leave it alone, they have no reason to bother with us.”

“Don’t they? I know. And they know I know. You might be safe, but I’m a target.” She calmed a bit more, taking a deep breath before she continued. “And what was the reason for the others?”

“You’re getting ahead of yourself, beautiful,” he reassured her, gripping her hand more tightly in his. “You don’t know that anything is actually going on. They may just be trying to prevent people from panicking while they study this mysterious illness and determine the best course of action. And since they wouldn’t want to get others sick, maybe they are isolating known cases as a precaution. Have you thought of that?”

Maybe he’s right. Maybe it’s just all my years of living under the shadow of the Syndicate, and then running from them. Worrying that they might find me some day and drag me back to that life as a slave. Could that fear be clouding my judgement on this?

The problem was, she just wasn’t sure. Ever since coming to the Federation and joining Starfleet, she had allowed herself to believe she was safe, that the Syndicate couldn’t touch her anymore. Souma had been disgraced and was on the run himself, so he would have a hard time getting to her as long as she was with Starfleet. The most ironic thing was, she had always dreamed of working for the Syndicate. They had even promised to give her rank if she proved to be a valuable asset to them, something they rarely ever did for pleasure slaves. And now she lived in fear that they would find her and finish the job. She was marked and that wasn’t likely to change.

“Perhaps you are right. I am always jumping at shadows. Maybe this is just another one. I had always thought myself safe in Starfleet, but sometimes I worry that I might not be as safe as I had thought.”

He squeezed her hand again, this time pulling her closer and giving her a passionate kiss before responding. “Emerald, I am never going to let anything happen to you. Do you hear me? I will give my life to save yours.”

She pulled back and withdrew her hand from his. She was shocked and surprised to hear that. True, they had grown close. True, being with an Orion woman, and one who had been a pleasure slave at that, was the dream of many Human men. But she never expected him to fall in love with her. She wasn’t even sure she felt the same way. She cared deeply for him, this was true. But was that love? Truth was, she just didn’t know what love felt like. Her training had repeatedly emphasized that love was irrelevant and potentially dangerous and that she should avoid falling in love with any of her partners. It would compromise her in many unfortunate ways.

And so she never had. Or had she? She had never felt this way about Souma. Yes, Diamond lived up to his name, but did that justify these feelings? Was it because they worked together and lived together? She didn’t know, but one was certain. She was afraid of his proclamation. It meant she had allowed him to get too close. Dangerously so, especially for him. Her enemies would use him to get to her. What scared her even more was that such a ploy just might work. Oh, it would be completely against her training, but he was more than just her RIO, roommate and lover. And she didn’t know what that ‘something’ was.

“No no no no. Oh, Diamond. No. Please don’t say that. Maybe this is all wrong. Maybe -”

But she couldn’t finish that statement. The growing look of hurt on his face had shut her down faster than any threat from her masters had ever done.

“What are you saying, Amissa? That you don’t feel the same way? That you don’t care about me?”

Her eyes continued to bulge out of their sockets as she became more and more afraid for his safety. And of her feelings.

What have I done? I should never have allowed it to get this far.

“Adam,” she whispered, barely audible. “Adam, loving me is dangerous. I have enemies and if they come after me, you could get in the way. And they won’t hesitate to hurt or kill you if that happens.”

“I don’t care, Amissa. We get into a fighter craft every day and fly patrols that could result in conflict with Romulans or others. We risk our lives every time we get into that thing. If I was afraid of dying, I wouldn’t be here today.”

“It’s not the same thing, and you know it,” she retorted.

“Isn’t it? How is dying in a fighter different from dying for someone you love?”

And there it was. He loved her. Overcome with fear for him now, and for herself, she quickly rose from her seat and made her way out of the mess hall, tears already beginning to form in her eyes.
Lt. JG Amissa | Fighter Pilot, Callsign "Emerald", USS Theurgy

Re: Sapphires, Diamonds and Emeralds

Reply #4
Ens. Amissa, Call Sign “Emerald” | Personal Quarters | 2380
It had been several days since Diamond had told her that he loved her and Amissa was still trying to sort her own feelings out. She’d always been taught that falling in love with a client was dangerous. But Diamond wasn’t a client and she really cared about him a lot. But was it love? Did she really even know what love was, or was Diamond just a convenient way to satisfy her Orion libido? Hard questions and she still had no answer.

She tried to avoid him as much as she could, but since they shared quarters and were assigned together as a team, it was becoming increasingly difficult. At such times, though, she tried to just talk about work. If she got into feelings again, she wasn’t sure how it would turn out and she knew she had already hurt him. She could see it in his eyes every time she looked into them. He loved her and she had hurt him when she had run out on him the other day.

The hardest part about avoiding him was the fact that she was really needing him. Oh sure, she could probably go to just about anyone on the station and seduce them within minutes, which would enable her to satisfy her needs for a brief period of time, but while she was Orion, she didn’t want to get a reputation as the station’s slut. She had been a pleasure slave, something she had been proud of, but never had she thought of herself in those terms. When she had learned it during her time in the Academy, she was appalled to know there was a group of women who had such a term applied to them, and it was not complimentary. Quite the opposite, in fact.

If someone wanted her services as a pleasure girl, there was a cost, and both were satisfied. But it was a business transaction. For those labeled as sluts, it was sheer promiscuity, no exchanges of goods or wealth. Personally, Amissa didn’t have a problem with that. But she was quickly learning that getting that sort of reputation was not something to be desired. It meant a loss of respect and standing with one’s peers.

The door to her quarters opened and Diamond entered, quickly divesting himself of his tunic and undershirt to reveal his chiseled abdomen and chest. It was all Amissa could do to not jump out of her bunk and rush him right then.

“Diamond -” He shushed her with a raised finger to her lips.

“Shh. I have something I need to say and I need to say it before I lose my nerve.” She nodded in acquiescence, but damn if she wasn’t envisioning tearing off the rest of his clothes and ravishing him. He removed his finger from her lips and stepped back.

“I said what I said the other day in the mess hall, and I meant every word of it. But if you’re not there, I understand. It’s not how you were brought up. For you, this is about pleasure and desire. I get that. But I can’t help how I feel either. I just need you to know that. If you can’t return the feelings, that’s fine. But I need you, Amissa.”

“I need you to, Adam. More than anything. But I was always taught that falling in love was bad. And like I said, I have enemies. They will use you to get to me. I can’t risk that.”

Diamond’s face developed a scowl and Amissa knew he wasn’t happy with what she had just said.

“You let me worry about that, Amissa. I’m a grown man. If they want to come after me, I say bring it on.”

“Adam, you don’t know what you’re saying. The Syndicate is dangerous. The only reason they haven’t come after me yet is because of Starfleet. But don’t think that’s going to stop them forever. They’ll get someone inside who will eventually come after me. And I don’t want you caught in the crossfire.”

He moved back over and sat on the edge of her bed, placing one strong hand on her bare thigh. “Don’t you think that should be my decision? If I want to walk into the fire with you, why should I not?”

She was starting to cry. He was so damned gallant and charming, and sexy. But it was for those very reasons that she didn’t want him anywhere near her problems when they finally presented themselves.

“Because if you walk into that fire, you will get burned. And I don’t want to be responsible for that. Not because of me.”

“If not for you, then for whom? If I can’t walk into the flames for the woman I love, who should I walk into them for? I love you, Amissa, and I would die for you.”

“And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t!”

“That makes no sense. I love you. I could never stand by and watch as you face danger and do nothing. Please don’t ask me to.”

That final plea had broken down her resistance and she pulled him in close, kissing every bit as passionately as she had desired to from the moment he’d entered the room. It had been far too long and for the next few hours, she savored every sweet intimate moment with her rock-hard Diamond. To hell with the Syndicate. With him at her side, she had nothing to fear.

Lt. JG Amissa | Fighter Pilot, Callsign "Emerald", USS Theurgy

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