Skip to main content
Topic: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night (Read 156 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz 

Reika lay propped up on a pillow facing the foot of her bed in her quarters.  She wore a white pair of torn jeans and a horizontal black and white striped, short-sleeved, knit shirt.  Her hair was up in a simple ponytail on the top of her head and it still fell past her shoulders.  She had been discharged from sickbay two days ago and didn’t officially start on duty for two more days.  Apparently, they wanted to give her time to physically and mentally work through her new circumstances and to the fact that she had been placed in cryo and had awoken healthy, though physically scarred.  From the stories she had gathered while she lay in sickbay, ate a meal in the lounge, walked the halls, or swam laps in the public baths, there were more than a fair few in her same circumstances.

But for the last few hours, she had read through various reports to find out what had happened during the six months that she had been in cryo.  But now, she needed something else to do.  Something that wouldn’t remind her that their circumstances were at best tenuous, at worst, insurmountable.  But an overwhelming task didn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile … tomorrow. Reika’s brain hurt.  She rolled over onto her back on her bed.  “Computer, display scheduled social activities on the calendar for today on this PADD.”  Holding the PADD above her head, Reika’s eyes ran down the very short list of fun events for today and she smiled.  “Wine and Painting,” the title read.  The location was listed at the Arborutum at 2000 hours. Before she could click through to the details, she realized that she only had five minutes if she wanted to be on time - and late wasn’t in her vocabulary.  Tossing her PADD onto the bed and rolling off the side, she slid her feet into the white slip-on tennis shoes.  She was out the door seconds later.

At 1959 hours, she slipped inside the Arboretum to the site of groups of people mingling.  “We’re going to start in ten minutes.”  A voice toward the front of the group said loudly.  “Grab yourself a glass of wine and find one of the painting stations scattered throughout the garden.

Reika saw some of the groups of people with already filled - or partially filled wine glasses peel off and meander toward various easels.  Some were laughing, and some walked with hands twined together.  Still others had arms wrapped around each other’s backs.

First order of business - a glass of wine.  Second order of business - hope there’s an easel left."  Finding the back of the line for a glass of wine, the tall Andorian folded her arms across her chest and admired the various flora scattered throughout the garden, but as she did, something struck her..  Almost everyone here was in pairs.  There were a couple of threesomes or were they couples with another single friend?  But when she turned around to look toward the front of the line to step forward behind the pair in front of her, she saw it.  On a large digital sign with a white background and words that looked like they had been painted,  “Couples Painting and Wine evening.”  And of course, it was adorned with heart and lips and wine glasses.  She closed her eyes and lay her hand atop of them, pursed her lips, and muttered something unintelligible and sharp-sounding under her breath.  Cursing herself for not taking thirty seconds to click through to the details of the evening, Reika blushed a shade of purple and tried to find her way back out of the garden before someone realized her error.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #1
[Hirek tr’Aimne] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

The young man accepting volunteers had not quite known what to do when Hirek had first approached. A predatory smile already decorating his features, his lilted accent detailing a keen willingness to support any and all social activities program on the ship. If he’d been taken aback because Hirek was Romulan, the human had done an exemplary job of masking the species-based surprise behind the comfort of routine questions. What were Hirek’s skill sets, for one, his hobbies, another, comfort levels with a variety of activities, as yet another, and so forth.

Regardless of how disquieting the interview may have been to the human conducting it, only a few days passed from Hirek’s interview until the first missive from the morale department. Though he’d known nothing about the game, Hirek had joined the Parrises Squares tournament and come out the other side with some bruises but also more names with faces of the crew that he could consider amicable towards his existence. His efforts to integrate with the crew, garnering alliances—or friendships as they would likely be termed on this ship—were proving fruitful. So far, it seemed the number of crewmates wishing for his dismemberment was decreasing, and the number of those who knew his name and either had no opinion or a somewhat favorable one was increasing.

Hirek was not trying to become everyone’s friend. He’d never been the type to really care what others thought of him. So it was not of a desire to be liked that he attended and volunteered to support nearly every social event brought to his attention. Without the foreknowledge of when they’d be able to eradicate the parasites and bring an end to the silly civil war on Romulus—not failing to mention destroying the Tal Shiar completely—Hirek was pragmatic enough to note the wisdom of creating a network among those onboard. And if he could count some in the network as “friends,” or even lovers, that would only make his time on Theurgy all the more pleasant.

Wearing a turquoise wrap-around tunic over loose-fitted khaki trousers, Hirek moved in a silent gait along the curving pathways of the arboretum toward the central meeting location. This evening was yet another social event he’d been recruited to, which required an unquestionable comfort in one’s skin. Lips pulling back into a smile, Hirek found himself eagerly looking forward to the “main event,” never having felt anything EXCEPT comfort in his own skin all his life—sometimes to the detriment of those around him who perhaps wished he could feel at least a smidgen of discomfort for their sake.

He arrived at the mingling group of people just as the master of ceremonies opened the event with an invitation to grab a drink before selecting an easel. Hirek’s gaze lazily traveled over the group, noting that there were few he recognized among this crowd until he noticed a single Andorian female near the end of the drink queue. Hirek stopped, tilting his head to the side, trying to see if she were one of the few Andorian females he already knew. She was not. His gaze moving over her attractive form made it easy to detect when she realized this event had been tailored for couples, and she was clearly here on her own. Whatever she’d muttered to herself then, along with her apparent signs of discomfort, garnered some attention from the couples closest to her. Their expressions were a mixture of curious sympathy, some even a brand of withering pity. That would not do.

Hirek resumed his course at the same time the woman turned and looked ready to flee. Before she could slip by him, Hirek reached out. Plucking her hand between his own, he brought it up and placed a soft kiss on the back of it as he stepped close. Close enough to note individual rods that made up the ice-blue of her irises. Still holding her hand, Hirek smiled at the Andorian beauty, speaking loud enough for the pitying couples to hear, “Forgive me for being late,” giving her a wink that the others would not notice, Hirek kissed her hand once more before lowering their clasped hands and eventually letting go, “it has taken me a lifetime to find you.”

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #2
[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika had already turned to make her way out when an unknown man took her by the hand.  That one act stopped her forward momentum.  Slowly turning around, The Andorian faced the newcomer. As he lifted her hand to his lips, she apprised the man.  He was Romulan, older, but more distinguished than aged.  His beard and hair were blonde sprinkled here and there with significant grey, but both were neatly trimmed.  Since he was obviously not in uniform, she had no idea what his department, his position, or his rank could be.  The turquoise shirt he wore pulled the blue out in his eyes.  He could have been considered handsome by some - distinguished by others - at least based solely on looks.  His brushed softly over the back of her hand.  “Forgive me for being late,” he said - and winked at her. 

There were so many things she tried to work out.  Why would a complete stranger walk up to her and kiss her hand.  She knew that there were many Andorians aboard the ship, so was it possible he was confusing her with someone else?  But his words were throw away, as if he was tossing them over her shoulder for the benefit of the others ahead of her in line, so as to relieve her discomfort.  And then there was the wink.  He had no idea who she was, but he was willing to try to help alleviate her discomfort.

Reika opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, he kissed her hand again.  But before he could lower her hand completely, she leaned and said in a whisper.  “It’s nice to meet you.  I’m Reika Sh’laan, a returning OPS officer.

It has taken me a lifetime to find you,” he said as he released her hand. 

But in that split second, Reika decided to play along.  “Indeed it must have.  I was afraid that you weren't able to make it,” and while she successfully tried not to laugh, her eyes betrayed her mirth.  Then whispering to him again.  “Whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?

She was more of a sketcher than a painter, but even painting held a certain allure to her.  If this stranger was willing to give her a few moments of pleasure behind an easel with a glass of wine in hand for the next hour or so, she would - at least for now - indulge him.  She slipped her arm through his and fell back into her former place at the end of the line. 
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #3
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

“Well, Reika, I must apologize for my tardiness. I was quite literally tied up,” he smiled at how easily she took to the ruse, her warm hand wrapping around the crook of his elbow as she tucked into his side, “I almost had to call for help. And let me tell you,” he leaned down as if to whisper but spoke loud enough that the couple standing in the queue in front of them could hear, “the security personnel will not long forget the sight of an oiled up Hirek tr’Aimne tied to all four corners of his bed like a hedonic appetizer.”

The woman in front of them gasped and shifted forward as if mere space in the line could prevent her from hearing further scandalous remarks. Her significant other looked more amused than offended, and from the almost wink the man shot Hirek’s direction, the Romulan presumed the human male found his story amusing, if not something to hope for. His gaze returned to the alluring woman at his side; Hirek reached up and lightly patted her hand as it rested on his arm.

“In the end, the morale officer is the hero of the hour. They arranged for my presence here this evening. I suppose they go through every department, and finally, the task fell upon Science. As time was drawing ever closer to the opening ceremony without my charming self mingling in the crowd, they panicked and sent someone to fetch me.” It was so easy for him to spin a tale with fact, as it was easy for any Romulan. To someone unprepared for the tale-telling of a “noble” Romulan, he might appear sincere in his story, from the microexpressions near his eyes to his tone of voice. Hirek couldn’t help but feel his curiosity build, wondering if the Andorian leaning against him would believe everything or see the tale for what it was, for her benefit to catch notes of who he was without being obvious and to frustrate the woman in front of them all at the same time.

The woman in thought shifted her arms, nearly losing some of her art supplies in the process. If it weren’t for her tried and true partner, a few pencils would’ve been lost to the crunch of the ground as they continued forward, ever closer to the promised glass of wine. Either she had not gotten the memo that she needn’t bring all that, or she was the type to insist on her own supplies.

“I see you did not bring your art materials this evening,” Hirek’s gaze roved up and down Reika’s body, another easy smile touching the edges of his lips, “relying instead on what they may supply you with? I admire such courage in a beautiful woman.” He heard another snort from the woman in front of them, and it sounded as if her partner was hiding a laugh behind a cough, earning himself a glare from the art-laden woman. Switching tactics, Hirek honed his attention fully on the Andorian, “What is it about painting and art that fires your soul, Reika?”

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #4
[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz

With her arm threaded through the Romulan’s, Reika noticed some of the looks around them.  Not having any idea who this man actually was, the Andorian guessed that many of the others would, and she wasn’t sure what the looks were all about at first, but when Hirek spoke of being oiled and tied up to the corners of his bed, the OPS officer was glad that she didn’t have her wine yet, as the woman in front of them would likely be stained red - as Reika preferred red wine to white.  And while it took an immense amount of self-control to not burst out laughing. 

Instead, enjoying the ruse, she simply added, “Likely they wanted to join you, but duty is duty after all.  They had theirs and you had yours.”  But as he continued on in his audibly alluring speech, she noted that he was - or at least said his name was Hirek tr’Aimne, that he was the evening’s morale officer, and he was a member of the Science department.  She’d have to look into that as time permitted. 

But for the moment, her eyes casually observed her companion of the evening.  He was … mature … the word ‘older’ sounded derogatory to her ears, and he didn’t look or seem old, so mature seemed to be a better fit.  And he wasn’t at all unpleasant to look at, but the thought of seeing him oiled up, naked, and tied to a bed did conjure quite a mental picture.  She wasn’t sure if she would say that that thought would haunt her or amuse her for the next while.

Enjoying the ruse,  Reika responded.  “No, I did not bring my art materials.  Most of my items are still packed away.  Besides,  it gives one a chance to be more novel when you don’t know what you’ll be given to work with.  It gets the creative juices flowing and enables self-expression at new levels, don’t you think?” Reika said as she leaned into him, reached up to kiss his cheek giving the woman ahead of them something more to gawk at.

But when he asked about what about painting ignites her soul, the act disappeared and anyone could easily see the veracity in her words.  “It’s freeing, all absorbing, you can lose yourself in it. To capture the essence, the very core, of your subject on a canvas or paper is one of the highest compliments you can pay a person or an object.  And, of course, there’s the fact that you’ll never get it quite right which means that there is always room for improvement.

As she finished speaking, Reika lowered her eyes from a nondescript location in the room to the line in front of them which was rapidly diminishing.  Not sure just how she shifted from being in character to being completely genuine, she chuckled as if it were just a part of the act and stepped forward to the bar as the couple ahead of them got their drinks and headed off for a corner of the room.  “Red wine, please.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #5
[Hirek tr’Aimne] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Hirek chuckled at Reika’s assumption of duty, “Sometimes one’s duty is one’s pleasure.” As if to punctuate his words and intent, Hirek reached over with his free hand and lightly patted the back of her hand as it rested on his arm. He quick peck on his cheek had Hirek giving a soft snort of amusement, lips still pulled back in a smile. “Let me know if you need help unpacking. My dexterity is famed for various ‘un’ things, like undressing, and likely unpacking as well.”

He was impressed, and far from disappointed with her passionate response to his question. Hirek allowed silence to fall between them as they both accepted their drinks, hers a red wine, and his a rosé. Taking a tentative sip, Hirek let the sweet liquid wash over the entirety of his tongue, pressing it against the roof of his mouth and quietly moving it before swallowing. It was dry, with fruity notes, but with a surprising, almost savory aftertaste. Glancing at the wine as it swished in his glass with every step he took in following Reika’s path to an empty easel near a well-positioned pair of stools, Hirek compared the taste to some of the blends of his own home. He took another sip as they took position atop the stools and waited for the evening’s activity to continue into its next phase.

A smirk of amusement already tugging at the edges of his smile, Hirek lowered his glass and held it lightly between his fingers as he finally gave reply to her impassioned speech. “I have a variety of hobbies and interests that lend themselves to a primary artistic expression, which also happens to be quite lucrative.” Hirek shifted his grip on the glass, bringing it up for Reika to observe as he expertly moved the glass and its liquid, tipping it dangerously to the side as if to dump it out, and yet having every confidence and it wouldn’t breach the edges from all the times he’d done similar movements before. “Our islands have been brewing and blending Romulan ales for centuries. Although there are other popular manufacturers, the tr’Aimne brand has been well known for its consistent quality and innovative and exotic blends. Though my father never had much interest in the blending process, I took after my grandfather and carried the business further.”

Hirek sipped lightly again before continuing, “How you described your response to art is quite similar to how I would describe my own response to brewing and blending ales and teas. There is far more unknown and unexpressed than there is known and expressed, and it is always a joy and a pleasure to bring new combinations to fruition, watching as others partake and respond to the resulting blend.”

The master of ceremonies took to the raised circular platform in front of the semi-circled arrangement of easels. Already positioned on the platform was an ornately decorated tapestry fashionably draped over a high-back chair, equally ostentatious in nature as the tapestry, rich in tones and noble in design. Near the foot of the chair was a short stool with a bowl overflowing with fruit. A decorated canister sat on one armrest while a heavily jeweled goblet balanced on the other. Skirting around the chair and carefully avoiding the fruit bowl, the master of ceremonies called attention to himself.

“So glad you could all make it to our program this evening. We hope you enjoy the light refreshments that will be delivered later. There refills on your drinks is endless so have as much as you like,” the man winked and earned a wave of laughter from sections of the crowd as they whispered about the difficulties of drinking and painting, “We would also like to thank our volunteer model this evening. An honorary member of the morale department, namely because he’s willing to do just about anything we need, I would like to welcome Specialist Hirek tr’Aimne to the platform.”

Hirek stood, placed his glass on the stool he’d previously occupied, and shifted closer to Reika but a moment to whisper, “Please excuse me,” before he moved through the attending couples to stand side-by-side with the master of ceremonies, who continued on with his explanation of the evening’s program without further hesitation.

“As the program details mentioned, Mister tr’Aimne with have a series of actions at the beginning of this session to accommodate those among the crowd who prefer a moving model, but then he will assume a variety of positions on this podium, with each position lasting approximately ten minutes before he shifts into another. There will be no formal break for food so once it arrives, take what you like as you like. Given how long formal sessions require models to remain still, we understand this may not be your typical model session. However, this evening is meant for casual fun and artistic expression. So without further adieu, I give you, Hirek tr’Aimne.”

The master of ceremonies departed the stage, leaving a neutral expressioned Hirek alone. He let his gaze languidly move over the crowd before settling on Reika, at which point he smiled and dipped his head in her direction. A soft strand of stringed music with light percussion began playing from a set of musicians that had quietly taken up position during the master of ceremonies explanation. Taking pity on the Andorian, for it seemed unlikely that she’d read all the finer details of the program’s activities, Hirek broke eye contact as he brought his hands up and began to pluck at the various ties holding his tunic closed.

While there were some hushed murmurs, as well as sighs of anticipation and appreciation, Hirek mostly heard the musicians and a general din of noise from the audience as he slowly peeled his tunic away from his body. His movements were intentionally slow, not exactly over-dramatized, but certainly not his norm. Knowing the audience was artistic in nature, or at least that was the intended purpose of this evening, Hirek smiled as he flicked his wrist, sending the lightweight tunic flying over the back of the chair, where it hung half on and half off, preciously latched to the chair with a single arm.

The muscles of his mostly hairless torso undulated as Hirek’s fingers shifted their attention to the ties holding his trousers up. His muscles were well-proportioned and lithe from years spent on and in the water and training with the martial art forms of his home world. Hirek revealed more of the warm sand tones of his skin as he faced parallel to the audience and bent over, drawing his trousers down over his hips and dropping them to the floor in a pool of cloth around his ankles. Leaving the trousers as they lay, though he kicked them slightly so one pant leg draped over the platform's edge, Hirek turned away from the audience—not stopping the smirk when he heard more collected sighs of appreciation—Hirek took hold of the canister.

He’d specifically asked for this canister, blending its contents himself. The oil inside was in a solid state that would quickly melt as it met with the heat of his touch. Understanding the purpose of the evening, Hirek had combed through the available herbs and flowers on the ship, looking for the precise blend to infuse into the oil. With a combination of plants known to increase blood flow and arousal and enhance a relaxed state, Hirek had carefully portioned them out before combining them into the canister. Again, his movements were deliberately slow, as Hirek turned parallel to the audience and began to dip his fingers into the canister, rubbing the oil onto his skin, starting first as his shoulder and then moving down the length of his arm.

Already sensual and shameless in nature, Hirek found the heady mixture of being on display to all these people, along with the scent of his own blend of herbs pleasing. Not to the degree that he risked a full erection, but Hirek was not surprised when his member twitched and his balls shifted in expectation as he began to rub the oil down his hip and thighs. He was intentional about turning to face the other side, exposing the opposite side of his body, by turning away from the audience. He would face them only when it was time to oil down his chest and face. Hirek methodically continued his oiling process with an expression of contented amusement.

He did not build anticipation or create fanfare before turning toward the audience, fingers already drawing a design crossway on his muscled chest. A thud from his left paused his movements and Hirek, along with many of the audience members, watched as a man hovered over his partner, frantically fanning at the collapsed woman. The master of ceremonies was already at her side with a hypospray. Considering the free-flowing nature of the drinks this evening, Hirek thought the extra precaution wise. Hirek resumed his work, rubbing the oil into his skin in slow circles across his chest and stomach, then drawing his fingers down and up in angled motions once it was time for him to cover the sensitive area around his groin.

Only once he was sufficiently covered in the oil, did Hirek shift on the podium until the back of his knees met with the chair. He took his seat, leaning against the back of the chair, and let his legs splay open in a natural fashion. Another thud, from further in the back of the crowd, this time two women were hovering over a third woman. Hirek gave a light snort as his fingers wrapped around the goblet near his left hand. Raising it his lips, Hirek’s eyes sought of Reika, catching her gaze over the goblet’s rim. Sending her a playful wink, Hirek tipped the glass up and greedily drank of its contents—an ale he’d created using the ship’s computer—happily allowing a few streams of the liquid to breach the corners of his mouth and twist their way over his jawline and down his neck.

Thirst quenched, Hirek settled again. The master of ceremonies displayed a timer in the back that Hirek could easily see from his position. Another ten minutes, he’d shifted to the side, pulling a leg up to hook over the empty armrest. The food would arrive then and after another ten minutes more and he’d pull that leg up to rest the foot on the chair with him, bracing an arm over his knee. He would slowly pull apart the grapes in the fruit bowl, popping the morsels into his mouth as if they were decadent candy for ten minutes more. And for the final ten minutes, he would lean forward, bracing his elbows on his knees, hands clasped together between them, gaze distant but intent as he stared at the timer as it ticked down to the end of his time as a model.

All the while, the musicians played through a series of styles of music, all sensual and relaxing, and only shifted the tempo to something marginally more active as the timer drew closer to the end. Once the timer ceased, the musicians did as well, and Hirek stood from the chair. He did not attempt to redress, and instead accepted the offered robe from the master of ceremonies as he returned to the platform.

“Thank you, Mister tr’Aimne. There is still plenty of time to finish your work, and still plenty of food as well. We will have the official voting on the pieces in ten minutes.”

Hirek stretched his arms overhead as he moved through the crowd, nodding with a polite smile at those who dared to make eye contact. With casual grace, he took up his discarded glass of wine, and resumed his spot on the stool. He studied Reika moment before nodding to her easel.

“Nice work.”


Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #6
[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz

The Arboretum was the perfect place for an evening like this.  The people couples and trios scattered amongst the foliage and blooms made for a personal setting while yet being a part of the larger group.  There was enough space between easels that couples could speak in hushed tones to each other without being overheard by the group if they didn’t want to be. 

Reika looked around to find an empty station in the arboretum, many were taken but there were a few left that would work.  Holding her glass by the rim down at her side, the Andorian steered Hirek toward one of the better spots where the sight lines were adequate and acceptable for whoever or whatever was going to take center stage.

And while Reika didn’t know Hirek from Adam, she was sure that she would enjoy their evening together.  After all, he had come to her ‘rescue’ so to speak.  Art was one of the constants in her life, so a little thing like a partner that she had never met before didn’t throw her majorly off balance because she’d get to be behind an easel - assuming he didn’t take over.  Well, then they may have problems.

Once they were seated on their stools set off to the side from behind their canvas and other art equipment, Reika finally raised her wine glass to her lips while listening to Hirek talk about wine and his experience not just as a sommelier but also as a brewer and blender of various beverages.

Hirek had finished with, “watching as others partake and respond to the resulting blend.” 

Like getting to observe someone appreciate a painting of your own.  I totally understand the …”  But her words trailed away as the Master of Ceremonies took his place on the raised dais.  As she listened, she eventually heard … “An honorary member of the morale department, namely because he’s willing to do just about anything we need, I would like to welcome Specialist Hirek tr’Aimne to the platform.

Reika’s head turned ever so slowly toward her ‘partner’ for the night, just in time for his lips to brush her ear in a whisper, “Please, Excuse me.”  And for a split second, Reika’s jaw went slack before she snapped it shut again.  The 3rd vector COO only heard snatches, “moving model, series of poses, ten minutes.”  And then she felt one set of eyes focus on her … and then about forty others.  She could have crawled behind the canvas.  She had played up her part opposite him and now …

She watched on in horror.  What the hell is he doing?  Oh no, he is noooooot.  Shit, he is.   Reika could feel the eyes going from Hirek to her and back to the model who was stylistically undressing.  Then as he tossed his shirt across the chair and started to undo the fastenings of his pants.

I’m sure he’s just teasing the audience.  This is just a show … nothing to see…..hell, yes he did!  And his pants flew over the edge of the raised surface.

Then came the oil.  Slow sensual movements of his hands.  His skin glistened as the solid salve melted on his body, then he turned around.  Reika could only imagine what he was doing to himself then, but as he turned back around and his hands started working toward his groin, there was a thud.  She turned her head - which had been completely immobile to that point.  A man was fanning a woman who had apparently fainted at the sight of the naked and rapidly engorging Hirek.  As she looked in their direction, she saw partners elbowing each other, pointing at Hirek and then pointing at her.  She couldn’t tell if their expression was one of jealous astonishment or extreme pity. 

There was only one thing left to do.  She picked up her palate and hid behind her canvas as best as she could and started painting until she heard another thud - this time behind her.  She turned momentarily until she saw more raised fingers and more pointing in her direction.  She looked back up as Hirek took his first pose letting nature and herbs take their course and laying life out in the open for all to see.  And people were certain enough to gawk - which given her share in the earlier charade - meant she receieved attention as well. 

Paint, Reika, No one will remember your part in this after tonight.  Her thoughts paused as she asked herself if that were really true before calling ‘bullshit’  on herself.  She had nothing to do, but to paint, so she turned her attention back to her paints and her easel, and she painted.  She painted a complete stranger in all of his aroused glory.  A complete stranger - who people thought she was intimately associated with.  And she bore much of the blame since she had gone along with the ruse.

Just paint the damn picture! She admonished herself.  Throughout the rest of the session, she never raised her head.  She barely raised her eyes.  The tall, elegant Andorian just painted … the whole … of Hirek.

When, thank the gods, the spectacle was over, she finally raised her head as the Romulan was offered a robe and covered himself.  Almost in horror, she watched as he … made … his … way … back to HER.  Picked up his glass as if nothing had happened, and looked appreciatively at her picture.  “Nice work.

And all around her, she heard chitters, chuckles, snickers, and comments about ‘the lucky woman’ or ‘cute couple.’ 

With her head down, she continued working on her finishing up her picture.  She might as well have it judged amongst the rest.  Maybe she’d get some sort of consolation prize out of this gossip-filled night.  And without looking at Hirek, she asked, “So, is this something you do often or is it just a one-time gig that I inadvertently happened upon?

But before Hirek could answer, the Andorian felt a gentle hand on her shoulder.  Turning her head to face the awestruck human woman, she heard slow drawn-out words articulated, “Oh, I envy you.  What a lucky woman you are.  He’s … amazing.”  Then the human put her hand over her mouth.  “He must be a lot to handle.

All Reika could do was slowly nod her head up and down.  “Yes …not in the way that you think, “He is a lot to handle.” 

Then side-stepping Reika just slightly, the woman winked and fluttered her fingers at Hirek.  “If you ever want a threesome … look me up.”  She slipped a corner of a piece of paper into Reika’s hand.  Apparently, the art supplies she had been given were paper and charcoals because on the paper scribbled in black smudged letters was a quarters assignment.  “Well, my friends are waiting.  I’d better go,” the woman had the good grace to blush and hurried off with her gaggle of friends.

Yours, I believe,” Reika handed the paper to Hirek. While she heard more giddy chortling and heavily aroused sighs nearby, she continued her work attempting to finish the painting.   Who am I kidding?!?  The whole ship is going to know about this before tomorrow morning.  I will … NEVER … live this down.

Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #7
[Hirek tr’Aimne] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Hirek couldn’t help but smile with amusement as the human spoke to Reika as if Hirek wasn’t even there. As if he were an object to be shared between them. An unsurprising development considering for the past half hour or more, he had willingly sat as an object for their artistic endeavors. He nodded to both the human woman and Reika when the Andorian struggled to respond. Her skin deepened in color after the woman put a piece of paper in Reika’s hand before skirting off to rejoin her companions. Hirek had no concept of what might be on the paper until Reika passed it off to him as if she might be burned by it should she hold on to it much longer. Hirek’s eyebrows rose when he noted the quarters' assignment and realized this had been the human woman’s attempt to ensure further interaction, especially of an intimate nature.

Hirek quickly snorted as he tucked the paper into the pocket of his robe and resumed sipping at his drink. Reika’s abject intent on her painting was further evidence that she found these circumstances distressing. Be it from attraction to him or otherwise, Hirek couldn’t tell. But he did find her sense of embarrassment amusing and endearing. Setting aside his drink, Hirek picked up the brush that went with the as-of-yet blank easel in front of him and likewise began drawing the brush over its surface, choosing a variety of blues and greens primarily. When he spoke again, his intonation was calm, tone melodic and deep, as his mind’s eye drifted away from the ship and back to his home.

“Being from the Uluma Islands, I spent much of my childhood nude in the water, diving with the oyster hunters or vrena catchers. The vrena are not much different from creatures found on Earth, I believe they’re called octopus? In any case, vrena are caught not killed outrightly, like fish. Their flesh spoils rapidly after death, though it is highly sought after among the elite.” Hirek stopped, realizing he was rambling, as he was ought to do whenever it came to speaking of home. Giving the Andorian woman a half smile accompanying a shrug, Hirek smiled. “Apologies if my speaking of home grows tiresome. Although my time onboard has been brief, my interactions have been broad enough to note there is a common misconception of what it means to be Romulan as well as what Romulus looks like. I find myself acting as a self-elected ambassador of sorts now and again, which, if this is overly tiresome, please feel free to slap my hand.” Hirek smirked as he held out his hand for her to do so if she wished, “I learned recently that is an action human guardians take when their charges have been acting unacceptably.”

Another group of individuals came back, carrying their easel to the front, where several others were already set up for judging. Ignoring their not-so-subtle whispers, Hirek shook his head and finally responded to Reika’s question. “You were witness to my modeling debut, be that to your pleasure or horror, yet to be determined, I suppose.”

Re: Day 18 [1945 hours] A Single for Couple's Night

Reply #8
[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika continued to paint while inhaling deeper and deeper with each breath.  This helped her heart rate begin to return to normal. When she was in a firefight as a tactical officer, how she could feel completely in control of every part of her body despite her heightened sense of awareness, and yet currently feel completely discombobulated when attention of this nature was focused on her, she didn’t know.  But ignoring everyone around her, the fluid movements of the brush combined with the deep breathing settled her spirit. 

As it did, Hirek began to speak again.  His tone took on a methodical and ataractic timbre as if he sensed her unease.  And truly, the description that he gave of his world could have made anyone feel relaxed, helped anyone let down their guard.  At that moment,  Reika decided that she would play the part for the night and play it convincingly, like the time at her advanced Tactical training where she was sent undercover.  That's what she'd do. Laugh as if she didn't care. Smile as if she knew all along, dote over Hirek as if he were her desire,  because he also knew that this was a ruse.

And after his apology, Reika tilted her head his direction. “No, it’s not tiresome."  Truthfully, she said, " I can imagine how much you miss your home.  At least your voice seems to say that you miss your home and your people.  How long has it been since you’ve been around other Romulans?

The miniscule brush strokes continued gliding over various spots on the painting as the Andorian tried to finish up the composition as she listened to his answer.  “The Star Empire hasn’t given much opportunity for Starfleet or its officers in general to get to know your people on a personal level.  I can see how misconceptions could easily be commonplace.  I wouldn’t mind hearing more about your home …"

But her further words were cut off by “ All those who want their artwork judged should bring them forward.  The judging will begin in less than five minutes.

Reika’s mouth closed as the announcement was broadcast throughout the arboretum. With a light laugh,  she said,  “I might as well throw my hook into the sea, and see if I get any bites.”  She wrapped her fingers around the edge of the canvas and turned to make her way to the front, but paused.  “You coming?  I mean these pictures are of you.  Who better to give his opinion?” she queried with a demure grin.

Carrying her canvas, the tall blue-skinned woman made her way back to the area near where they entered.  There was a queue of nearly twenty people who were eager - or at least willing - to have their works judged.  But it didn’t take long for all of them to set the paintings up.

The judges began the process of critiquing each of the pieces.  Reika went to get another glass of wine - this time a blush instead of burgundy, but returned to Hirek’s side.  “So how does it feel to see yourself - or a representation of yourself on the canvas?
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]

Simple Audio Video Embedder