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Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

In the days following his wild date with Enyd, Alistair went through a rather broad spectrum of emotions. In the immediate aftermath (after sobering up somewhat), mortification was the dominant reaction. Alistair couldn't stop replaying key events in his mind; seeing Enyd topless, being thwapped by Klar's mighty member, the embarrassment of his erection being concealed by Enyd's skirt, only for it to be revealed to the world for all to see. The dances, the unabashed flirting, the shameless descent into mad lust...none of it was normal for Alistair.

Nevertheless, alongside mortification there were other emotions that followed, many of them positive. It was such a complex mess that Alistair was somewhat out of sorts the day after, though he eventually recovered his equilibrium. He was both desperate to see Enyd again and anxious about that meeting; what would happen?

The second day passed quite normally, at least to start with. Preparation for the forthcoming mission to Qo'nos that evening proceeded at a pace, even if Alistair himself wasn't assigned to it. He still felt a little sore at Captain Ives for excluding him, even if he could guess the reasons. A man with no supplemental combat or espionage training and a phaser range score of "adequate" would be of little use on such a mission. The four women were more than capable of succeeding without his bumbling assistance.

Besides, Alistair briefly imagined a Klingon recognising him from the show and decided that he was, in fact, quite content to remain on the Theurgy.

When lunch came, Alistair took a PADD from his office to the lounge, reading as he went, trying valiantly not to think about Enyd's cheeky grin, or the taste of her, or the feel of her ass in his hands, or the close-range view of Klar's mighty member...

"Stop it," Alistair told himself firmly as he stopped in a corridor. A passing ensign looked at him in surprise and he smiled apologetically at her. "Sorry, just...uh...talking to myself. Okay, that sounds weird. Never mind, I'll just be going now. Have a good day."

Rather red-faced, Alistair proceeded on his way until a few minutes later, he was sat down in the lounge with a salad in front of him, his eyes locked on the PADD as he slowly ate.

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #1
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Diplomatic Department | Deck 2 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

“Thea, please locate Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt.”

[ Lieutenant Leavitt is in the lounge on deck 28. Do you wish me to contact him? ]

And give him a chance to run away? Not a chance.

“No, thank you, Thea.”

It was lunchtime, and she’d already made it through several world-rocking meetings this morning. At least these hadn’t been bitter as the one she’d had with Drauc. Enyd hadn’t intentionally put off the much-needed conversation with Alistair. Life had just happened since they’d returned to the ship after their mind-boggling date. She was curious if Alistair was still as shaken by the evening’s events as she was. Of course, she had the added angst of facing Drauc with the truth of their outing and then receiving his rejection boiling in her gut. And the pornographic dreams featuring both Drauc and Alistair that she’d had since her holographic adventure with Zark only fueled the need to have this conversation tout sweet.

With no obligations on her plate for immediately after lunch, Enyd left her office on the hunt for a certain time-traveling lieutenant.

[ Below Decks Lounge ]

She saw him as soon as the doors opened. It was as if the man had a homing beacon she could sense, and even though his table wasn’t in direct view of the door, Enyd’s gaze had instinctively moved to rest on his back. Enyd stopped at the bar to order a bottle of scotch, the real deal if possible, and two glasses, then added an order of a bowl of tomato soup with cheesy multigrain bread to accompany it. If he was going to throw food in her face, let it be liquidy. And if he wanted to toss a drink at her, let it at least taste good.

As she waited for her order, Enyd continued to study Alistair. He had a PADD on the table and appeared to be reading as he stabbed at his salad. From this distance, he looked like most other crewmen in the lounge, just someone who wanted to eat and relax between duties. Enyd hated herself already for the potential threat to his peace. She’d already hurt Drauc, potentially irreparably, and now she was on the verge of causing more pain and garnering more rejection. Just the dessert they needed for their lunch.

Enyd walked to the table with her back straight and shoulders squared. She would tell him everything and accept his response. She would not try to justfy or deny. She would accept and move on as he wished. Enyd nodded to herself and her inner mantras, repeated with every step closer to the man she’d very much love to kiss again, even with all the guilt still hovering over her head. She gave an inward sigh. It was looking more and more likely that she'd end up an old maid working the ranch in Montana at the rate of romantic idiocy she was exhibiting.

Shifting into his view, Enyd offered a cautious smile of greeting. “Mind if I join you?”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #2
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

XamotZark zh’PtrellNysarisiza zh’Eziarath? As he read, Alistair ran the Andorian names through his mind, baffled by how to pronounce them. The service jackets didn't clarify, and it was unlikely to ever be a problem, but a part of his mind mulled over the names all the same. If all went well, he'd never need to meet any of the team anyway. They were certainly an eclectic mix; an Intelligence officer, a fighter pilot, a combat medic and a diplomatic officer. It was unusual, but Captain Ives evidently had good reasons for their choices.

Fully consumed in his work, Alistair veritably jumped when Enyd appeared. "Enyd!" he said as he got to his feet, smiling automatically. "Er, hi! Yeah, of course, I've been looking forward to seeing you again."

After Enyd sat down and he followed suit, Alistair looked at her properly. Memories of that wild night came flooding back with all the heightened feelings therein, but after a moment, Alistair saw more. Enyd was visibly tense, maybe even nervous, which the presence of the scotch only supported. It was such an uncharacteristic state for the vivacious and bold woman that Alistair leaned forward, frowning.

"Enyd, are you alright?" he asked quietly. "I'm pretty sure that I saw you more relaxed on the stage know."

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #3
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Enyd felt her heart surge with delight at the sincere warmth in Alistair’s gaze when he finally noted her and welcomed her to sit with him. She wanted nothing more than to drop the tray and crawl into his lap, asking if everything would be ok like a child with her father—though she certainly did NOT look at Alistair as a father figure. But Enyd knew so much needed to be discussed and confessed before she even attempted to touch him again. It was only right and fair for him to know everything and leave it to him whether he would welcome another handshake, let alone an embrace or “lap time” from her.

Enyd poured two drinks, figuring even if he didn’t drink it now, no doubt what she had to tell him would merit at least one sip. She wasn’t planning on draining it but knew she tended to speak more easily about things the more liquor in her system, so if her tongue started to gum up, she had every intention of loosening it. Because come hell or high water, she would level with Alistair today. Even if he tried to walk away mid-conversation, she would send him a missive with everything he temporarily refused to hear. And not because Enyd demanded he understand or accept or resolve and move forward, but because from where she was sitting, she would want the same forthright revelation from him if the tables were turned.

She offered him a wobbly smile as she readied herself for both meal and conversation. “I’m sorry our schedules haven’t coincided before today. I was also really hoping to see you sooner.”

Her cheeks warmed, and Enyd quickly busied herself with stirring the soup. His voiced concern was like a knife in her gut, and his follow-up jest had her snorting in mirthless humor. He wasn’t wrong. Enyd glanced up at him and then eyed the scotch. She needed something on her stomach before she tipped into that. Setting aside the spoon, Enyd picked up the bowl.

“Apologies, but,” she gave a half smile before she tipped the bowl up and drank half the soup. It was hot but nearly as scalding as her typical morning coffee. Satisfied with the amount of soup, she tore off a piece of bread and popped it into her mouth, chewing and swallowing more rapidly than was likely healthy. “In truth, I will need a drink for what I’m about to share, but I also don’t want to get sloshed right out the gate, so please forgive the momentary barbarity.”

She studied him for a few more chews of bread and gave a less nervous smile. “You look as devilishly handsome as ever, Alistair. Even with all the mess I’m about to drop on this table, I can’t help but admit I’m as attracted to you as ever, and when I walked through that door and saw you, all I wanted to do was walk up and hug and kiss you and tell you I missed you.” Enyd leaned back in her chair, dropping the rest of the bread onto the tray with a sigh. “And I have certain hopes for the future between us that may likely be dashed by the end of this conversation.” Reaching for the glass of scotch, Enyd saluted him before taking a small sip. “But understand, I do not expect anything from you or demand anything from you. Please listen and respond with all sincerity that resides within your gut, and don’t worry about my feelings. I waltzed into my mess, and I have to live with that.”

Enyd gave him another wobbly smile, then took a longer sip. She rolled her shoulders, cracked her knuckles, then leaned her elbows on the table so she was closer and wouldn’t have to speak louder for him to listen. With clinical precision, Enyd walked Alistair through the timeline of when and how she’d met both him and Drauc before moving on to the details of her outing with Drauc. Near fucking and all.

“He was the man I referred to on our date, who had been put into sickbay after kissing me.” Enyd’s face was schooled into a neutral expression. There were so many emotions she felt or wanted to feel, shame and regret being two of the strongest, but she owed it to Alistair to finish before she gave into the temptation to curl into a ball at his feet and beg for forgiveness.

Having learned from her conversation with Drauc that context for decisions was necessary, though it did not excuse selfish impulsivity, Enyd explained her reasons for withholding the details before their date. Again, she kept her voice neutral, not wanting to further mislead Alistair into thinking she was trying to justify her idiocy. She had to finish her scotch and pour another by the time she finished giving some non-intrusive details about how things went with Drauc. His story was not hers to tell, and knowing him to be a private person, she kept the focus primarily on the words stated by both parties and her responses and less on Drauc.

It was time for Zark’s part in this sordid tale. Realizing what she was about to reveal to Alistair, she drained the glass in one shot and then poured a third. It wasn't as strong as what she'd had on the planet with him days before or as strong as what she'd shared with Zark, but it was helping to loosen her tongue as she'd hoped it would.

“I was raised fairly traditionally, Alistair, so years ago, when I was in a dyadic relationship with Victor and Javec, I was nearly always in a state of confusion and self-doubt. How could I love two men so completely simultaneously and for such different reasons?” She didn’t start drinking the third glass, but roated the glass on the table, finding it hard to meet Alistair’s gaze at the point in her confession. “Then I come to this ship and it seemed like the same thing was happening, again, with how I felt, feel, toward you and Drauc. When I was talking to Drauc, I imagined you and him meeting up and bonding over your mutual hatred of me, and in a twisted way, that imagined thought warmed my heart. Because at least then he could have more friends, and you guys could, I don’t know, still be happy despite my selfishness.”

Enyd shook her head, giving a half-shrug. “Then Zark blew up my brain by painting a mental image of the three of us,” Enyd looked up and boldly met Alistair’s eyes with a wide-eyed stare, “you, me, and Drauc, having sex together. Before that, she’d conjured up images of both of you enticing me for intimacy, curious if my imagination would lead me to decide on which of you I preferred, which, as I say that, sounds so incredibly arrogant and selfish and oh,” she tossed back the third drink but kept her hands gripped on the glass to keep from pouring a fourth, “In any case, I realized in that conversation that I could imagine myself falling into a heap of similar useless nose bleeding giggles regardless of it was you or Drauc. But when the tables turned, and it was me seducing either of you, that was quite different. After that confession, Zark tested my imagination to see how I felt about a threesome. And,” her face was aflame now, but she kept very still, knuckles white as she clutched the glass like a lifeline. “It shook me to the core to realize I liked that image. I liked the concept of being about to make love to both of you, and to be loved openly by both of you, to have a freedom to love and be loved that I’d never had before... and if that’s not the most selfish bit of idiocy.”

Enyd interrupted herself by leaning forward with a groan. She pushed the glass aside just in time to knock her forehead against the table. Nearly everything was out now, swirling in the air between them, and it was a miracle that he hadn’t tossed the rest of her soup in her face already.

“Fuck.” She muttered against the table, still not raising her head just yet. She had more to say, but if a man had ever deserved a platform to respond, it would be Alistair. Twisting her head, Enyd kept her head on the table but glanced up through the mass of hair that had fallen over her face. “How are you holding up, Alistair? Do you want me to go?”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #4
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Alistair, seeing what was coming, had the good sense to keep his mouth shut and weather the storm. Enyd's honest compliments and confession about how she felt inevitably drew a blush from him, and he smiled bashfully, looking around and praying that nobody had overheard her. Alistair briefly considered suggesting that they find a more private venue, but that seemed unwise. Enyd had plainly worked up a lot of courage to do this; disrupting her momentum and asking her to start again would be outright unkind.

And then, emboldened by scotch, Enyd began her tale. Alistair didn't speak, didn't react, didn't do a thing at all except slowly nibble his salad, paying close attention to every word. Enyd's deep vulnerability was a new side of her, a surprising one, and Alistair was determined to respect it. If anything, even as she spoke about Drauc in sometimes excruciating detail, he felt his affection for the baffling woman before him grow. She'd gained an extra layer, another dimension, somehow became more real and ever more fascinating.

Enyd's mention of Zark gave Alistair a quick shock, and he glanced down at his PADD, realising that they were likely the same person. That shock, however, was nothing compared to what he felt as Enyd described her fantasy. Alistair's eyes widened, his mouth dropping open a tad, barely believing Enyd's forthrightness. It shouldn't have been a surprise, yet the poor man was downright dazzled all the same. Finally Enyd came to the end, the end that she'd clearly been dreading, and it took Alistair a good few moments to recover.

"No, stay, please," he said faintly before taking the other glass of scotch. "I will be taking this, though." He winced as he took a hearty sip, gasping in the aftermath. "I...uh, I guessed some of that, based on what you'd already told me, so I'm not entirely surprised. The rest, That's...that's a real whopper."

To quieten his roiling stomach, Alistair finished his glass in one go, his mind still racing over Enyd's confession. There was one priority, however. He reached out to gently stroke Enyd's hair, smiling softly at the adorable image before him, of Enyd's head resting on the table, looking up at him like an apologetic puppy. "I'm not mad, Enyd. Not even a little bit. I'm not angry, betrayed, offended or any of the thousand other things that you were afraid of. I promise, I'm alright, you have nothing to worry about."

Alistair took a breath, pulling his hand back and running it over his scalp. "I can't speak for Drauc, obviously, and if he's upset, I understand why. That's his right. I can speak for me, though. I don't mind that you didn't tell me. A first date is, for me, a sort of...introduction, an initial exploration, a...uh...field experiment, to judge the nature of the dynamic. Urgh, sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound so clinical." He facepalmed, took another breath, looked at Enyd and continued, "My point is, for me, this is the appropriate time to talk about this, after we've confirmed that there is something"

Taking a leaf from Enyd's book, Alistair promptly took the bottle, filled both their glasses and took another deep sip. The growing warmth and lightness helped him keep talking, although he noted ruefully that this was the second time in three days that he and Enyd had drunk a copious quantity of alcohol together, a potentially troublesome sign for the future.


"My point is...uh..." He took a another breath before looking Enyd in the eye, "I like you too. A lot, even though we've only just met, technically. You''re bold and unpredictable and beautiful and fantastic and sexy...erm...well, I've been thinking of you too, obviously, in that...uh...way." Not that Alistair was inclined to detail his own fantasies, not right that moment. "You drive me nuts, but I like it. It makes me feel alive. Maybe before everything that happened recently, I might've not...honestly, I would've chickened out. I'm not chickening out now. I want to live."

Then Alistair paused, thinking hard. He leaned back in his chair, running his hands over his face. "I can't believe that I'm asking this, it's...uh, a first for me, too. What sort of relationship do you want, Enyd? It sounds like a traditional monogamous relationship isn't what you want, at least, based on what you're saying, but we need to be...uh...specific."

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #5
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge| Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Alistair’s hand on her head and the gentle strokes against her hair worked to unravel the knot in her stomach. She sighed, shamelessly pressing her head up against his hand like a cat demanding more affection, and was unaware of the petulant pout of her lips when he pulled back to run the same hand over his head as he gathered his thoughts. He’d touched her, and he’d told her he wasn’t angry. Two steps in the right direction. Not that Enyd even knew which direction to go. But at least Alistair seemed inclined to “go” with her instead of running “away” from her.

“Whopper is putting it mildly. If you’ve never had an encounter with Zark, prepare yourself. What you experienced with me is mild compared to what you might experience with her.” Enyd blushed, raising her head off the table and brushing her hair away from her face. “Minus the sexual bits. Though I won’t speak for her preferences.”

He was taking it easier on the scotch than she had, but it spoke measures that he was drinking at all. Alistair didn’t strike her as the type to nurse a drink at lunch as a habit, but she had just dumped this curveball into his lap, so she wouldn’t have faulted him if he’d tipped the bottle itself against his lips and drained it.

“Thank you for your forgiveness, Alistair. Your kindness.” Her hand twitched with the desire to reach out and cup his face, pulling him in for a kiss. But the conversation was only just getting started on his side; she could tell from his mannerisms that it would be best to reserve such affection for later. If there was a later. “After how south things went with Drauc, without hope so far of anything other than that southerly turn, I really didn’t know what to expect between us.” She chuckled as she pointed to her soup. “I ordered soup in case you were going to throw food in my face, and I like the smell and taste of scotch, so I figured if you were going to toss a drink at me, as was your right, it might as well be something I enjoy as well.”

Scratching her fingers over her scalp, Enyd leaned back in her chair as Alistair shared more of his side of things. She snorted as she waved away his apology for the clinical description; in her opinion, that was precisely the point of a first date as well.

“I agree with your concept of first dates, Alistair. Not to worry.” She watched him pour more scotch and slowly sipped at hers, knowing she was at least two drinks ahead of him while he worked out how to finish his feedback.

Her eyes widened, and her mouth dropped open marginally, much as he had when she’d spoken of the threesome at his open confession of still being attracted to her. The descriptive list he gave her, quite the glowing number of adjectives, had Enyd ducking her head over the drink as she brought the glass to her lips. Alistair was being open and vulnerable in return, which warmed her far more than the scotch.

“My grandmother also said I was tenaciously incorrigible and adorably frustrating.” She smirked over the rim of her glass at Alistair, darting her tongue out to taste the amber liquid. “Thank you for all that, Alistair. I didn’t even think about what you might think of me outside of wanting to throttle me for all the potential mess I made. It is,” she tipped her head to the side much like a Vulcan might at the moment, eyes darting across the ceiling until she found the words she wanted, “humbling and narcissistically pleasing to know I drive you as crazy as you drive me. And I’m glad you didn’t run away from this conversation or chicken out.” She winked before taking a long sip, her entire body thrumming with the heat of knowing he was attracted to her still, her anxiety melting away in favor of scotch-induced relaxation.

“I’m certainly no veteran to this sort of thing either, Alistair, so from my perspective, better we voice our thoughts, our concerns, our hopes, than keep them inside and festering.” His question had her draining her drink and then setting it aside, no longer tempted to pour more than that there seemed to be a path to take with him instead of away from him. “What sort of relationship? Well, from my ‘therapy’ with Zark, I realized I don’t struggle with the concept of jealousy so long as the affection between myself and my partnerS,” she emphasized the plural, “is shared or is well understood. I’d never considered that before, so that’s new and untried for me.” She crossed her arms over her chest, features pulling into a pensive frown as she continued. “I’ve never been attracted to other females, only males, so obviously, in the fantasy Zark painted, it was you and Drauc. And knowing myself as I do, I was only accepting of that concept because of the emotional and physical connection between us before the fantasy. I don’t think I’m the type of person to welcome just anyone ELSE into the relationship as the days went by. So perhaps I’m a little Andorian at heart? Not sure about quads exactly,” Enyd tapped her chin in thought, trying to imagine a fourth person she’d be comfortable sharing physical intimacy with beyond Alistair, but shook her head, “On the ship, in my life at the moment, the only people I am comfortable sharing physical intimacy with is you, Drauc—though that’s not likely to happen—and Zark.”

The last had Enyd chuckling. It was probably a bit mind-boggling to Alistair that she’d just said. On the one hand, she was only attracted to males, and then she said she’d be comfortable sharing a bed with Zark.

“I love Zark dearly and trust her with my life and my heart.” Enyd added with a smile, then ducked her head before adding, “As I would like to trust you and have you trust me in return. More so, if possible.” Taking a deep breath, Enyd slowly let it out before leaning her elbows on the table to ask her own set of questions. “What about you? Are you even remotely comfortable with the idea of sharing a bed with both me and another man? I know it may seem confusing, but my romantic loyalty can be fully committed to two people; I know that from experience, at least. But I know not everyone can handle that, and I wouldn’t want you to enter anything that made you uncomfortable.”

Enyd didn’t reach to refill the glass—noting that by this time, there was only enough scotch left for about two full glasses, and she didn’t want to hog all of it—but she pushed at her glass a bit as her thoughts moved in every direction. Looking back at Alistair, she smiled softly.

“Ultimately, Alistair, I want to be your friend. I want you to wake up with the assurance that I’m for you and with you, no matter what. Through thick and thin.” Her cheeks warmed as her eyes darted down to the glass again. “Obviously, I would like you to wake up and have that reassurance with me already tucked against you in bed, but I’m in no rush, and I won’t try to stake any claims.”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #6
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Alistair leaned back, looking upward as if beseeching help from a higher power. Enyd kept throwing bombs at him, and he was juggling as best he could. The revelation that Zark was also a factor in Enyd's multidimensional affections added further complication...wait, Enyd said that she loved and trusted Zark, but wasn't attracted to other women? Yet she was comfortable sharing physical intimacy with Zark...what?

"Just, uh, give me a moment here," Alistair said before he exhaled, his mind racing. "I guess...I guess that what it comes down to is whether I'm happy to...uh...share you, in...every...respect. With Drauc, with Zark, with whomever. I've never thought about doing that before. It's wild, and...uh..." he trailed off as he looked at Enyd, and finally, a grin formed. "...and exciting. Is that weird to say? It feels like...I don't know, like an adventure, like beaming down to a planet for the first time. The idea of waking up next to you, sharing things, living a life together, it's honestly intoxicating. No pun intended. If there's another man there to share that with, or woman, or whatever...I'd need to experience it to be certain, but I don't see a problem."

Suddenly Alistair very much wished that they weren't in public, surrounded by other crewmembers. Setting aside the intimate discussion, he was increasingly aware of the pleasant sensation of being tipsy, the scotch having evidently had an effect. Contemplating Enyd for a long moment, Alistair allowed his addled mind to wander, tuning out the chatter and clinking of cutlery around them.

"Honestly, Enyd, thinking about it...uh..." he drifted off, still thinking hard, his face reddening with the lurid mental images flying through his mind.  "...I...think that I'm okay with a...uh...threesome. I'm imagining you and Klar...sorry, haven't met Drauc yet, so I need a stand-in. It feels like I'm fine with it. You, me and Drauc. Or...well, even more if you want, or another man if you meet one. I'm still not sure how Zark fits into this either. Obviously I need to meet Drauc and work it out this whole...thing, if he changes his mind and goes for this. On my side, though, I'm happy with this. Both...both in bed and out."

Alistair chuckled, shaking his head. "It feels so strange talking about this here. Er...there is one thing that we need to clarify. What about...erm...well, you see, if...I'm not the really the type, but..." Realising that he was babbling, Alistair stopped himself, then forced the words out in a ush. "What I mean to say is, are-you-comfortable-with-me-being-with-other-people-too?" He took a needed breath, fidgeting nervously with his empty glass, rolling it around the base's edge. "I mean, if, uh, Zark and I were intimate, for example, or me and...I don't know, another woman, or Drauc and me, would that be a problem? Is it just between the three or four of us in all directions, just me sharing you with Drauc, or just"

Alistair sighed, fscepalming. "I sound like an idiot...I'm not the type of guy who just sleeps around with strangers. I need a connection with someone first, like what we made. I'm not asking for anything, either, that's not me. I'm in this even if you're the only person that I'm intimate with, no matter who you want to be with as well. I just need to know exactly what you are and aren't comfortable with. Please be honest about this; don't force yourself to accept something just because it seems 'fair'."

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #7
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

When she needed to be, Enyd could be a very patient woman. So when Alistair requested a minute of silence to contemplate everything, she was happy to give it to him. Even when he tossed the reality-altering truth that he wasn’t opposed to everything she said, Enyd kept silent. Though her eyes widened, and her lips pulled back into a giant shit-eating grin. She had to grip her hands together to hold herself back from reaching for him. Beneath the table, Enyd curled her feet around the chair legs to further anchor her to this side of the table. The poor man had barely finished processing her honesty and likely had his own set of questions. Throwing the table aside and seductively mauling him on the lounge carpet was not likely to be helpful for long-term plans.

Her grin sobering just a smidgen, Enyd shook her head, “Not weird. I mean not any weirder than the fact that events brought us to this table for this conversation.” It seemed, so far, that he was of a similar accord as she regarding “needing more data” to form a solid confirming fact. “You have a clever tongue, Alistair,” she smirked at his pun and clicked her own tongue against the roof of her mouth, tipping her head back and to the side, wagging her eyebrows at him in feigned seduction. “Did I ever tell you I’m a sucker for puns?”

Enyd moved her hands from the table to hold on to the sides of the chair when Alistair continued. She hadn’t imagined Klar in any of her fantasies, but she could understand why Alistair would substitute the Klingon Adonis for an unknown Romulan. Klar had been a near-perfect specimen of manhood, Klingon or otherwise.

“I only mentioned Zark earlier because though I don’t see myself as bisexual, and I’m not sexually attracted to her though I acknowledge her stunning beauty, my affection and friendship for her is such that if she ever NEEDED physical intimacy with me, I would not balk at the sharing nor would I be ashamed of it and regret it.” Enyd gave a half-shrug, just as confused as Alistair likely was. “It seems my psyche is a very confident swimmer in the grey areas between expectations. And, uh,” she tucked her hair behind her ear, the slight point tinged pink at the thought of Alistair and Drauc meeting—that fantasy Zark had painted still haunted her, “I do not know how Drauc would treat you if you met up with him. He told me very plainly that he didn’t want to be manipulated into any relationship that wasn’t of his choosing, and I get the feeling that if you intentionally showed up just days after I ripped the rug out from under him, he wouldn’t take kindly to it or see it as a gesture of reconciliation or exploration.”

Enyd’s gaze also trailed around the lounge. Though the heaviness of their conversation made them feel a false sense of intimacy and solitude, the reality was that many people were having lunch around them. Whether they’d picked up on any details of the conversation was unknown, but knowing their luck, someone in this lounge had acute hearing and was experiencing indigestion already from trying to keep their confused shock to themselves. Alistair’s tumbled question had her gaze immediately moving back to study his features, eyes running over what she could see of his body. The mental image, not as vividly painted by Alistair as it might’ve been had Zark’s cunning tongue been forming the words, still intrigued Enyd.

In her mind’s eye she saw Zark saunter through the door wearing a skin-tight leather outfit that enhanced her bosom and loved hugging all her curves. She was beautiful. Even in her imagination, Enyd noted this without feeling a tug of sexual arousal, just the continued affection. Zark made a beeline for their table. After giving Enyd an affectionate peck on the temple, the Andorian did precisely what Enyd had wanted to do earlier. She threw the table out of the way as if it were a feather pillow. Without preamble, she straddled Alistair, pulling his face into the softened cushion of her bosom. Throwing her head back and mewling out a cry of passion, Enyd watched Alistair grip Zark’s ass as she ground herself against him.

“Uh-“ Enyd squinted her eyes, words not quite formed for an answer, when another errant mental image switched out Zark for Klar.

Tossing a flirtatious smile in Enyd’s direction, Klar used his grip around Alistair’s neck to pull the man forward, twisting until they fell together on the ground at Enyd’s feet, Klar lying between Alistair’s legs. With deft fingers, he ripped Alistair’s uniform top open with a grunt, lips curling back into a snarl. Raking these same fingers down Alistair’s chest, Klar’s hips bucked forward against Alistair, and the strangled sound of pleasure she heard should have come from the fantasy Alistair but, in reality, it came from her own throat.

Enyd smacked a hand over her mouth. Eyes darting around, she wondered if the sound had only been in her imagination or if she’d been idiotic enough to let it leak into reality. She noted her salivary glands had worked double time during her fantasies. Enyd had to swallow before she could clear her throat and try again.

“You don’t sound like an idiot, Alistair. You sound like someone who is also facing a curious conundrum. I am also not someone who sleeps casually. In fact,” she blushed but maintained his gaze, “I have only ever been intimate with one man. Javec. And I have kissed one handful.” She let go of the seat just long enough to hold up five fingers. “So even the term ‘threesome’ signals a temporary status whereas in my mind, at least what I think I’m imagining, is something more permanent. Not so unlike the Andorian quads.”

Enyd glanced at the scotch but mentally shook her head. She’d leave it for Alistair.

“And to answer your question,” Enyd had to take a deep breath, puffing out her cheeks as she held it a second, then sighed out her answer in one breath, “apparently-I-would-be-okay-with-it-if-I-could-watch-or-take-part.” She took another steadying breath, clenching her teeth as she waited for his response. “I didn’t know THAT about myself until today, either. So it seems we’re having a lunchtime therapy session.”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #8
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Though they hadn't known each other long (indeed, this was only their third meeting), Alistair was quite accustomed to what Enyd looked like when she was aroused. Her roving eyes, the faint blush in her cheeks, her lips pressing together; all of it was very familiar by now. Alistair didn't know what was happening, exactly, as Enyd was quiet for a while and plainly occupied, but he was disinclined to interrupt her with his thoughts on Zark and Drauc. It just seemed...rude.

And besides, Alistair reflected guiltily, he very much liked to watch Enyd lost in her thoughts.

Finally Enyd seemed to move past whatever she was imagining and start talking again. Alistair just let her talk, although the revelation that Enyd had only been intimate with one person was (another) sharp shock. It seemed incongruous with recent events, both with him and Drauc, that this wonderfully bold and flirtatious demon didn't have a vast array of past victims. Nevertheless, that rather emphasised how special this must be for Enyd, which set a happy little flame alight in Alistair's stomach.

"What is it about huge apocalyptic events that make us learn these things?" he mused with a goofy grin of his own. "Honestly Enyd, I...I rather like the idea of you watching me, and I didn't know that before today either." Alistair's eyes widened in alarm as he looked around, praying that nobody had overheard them. "Er...anyway, we now have clear boundaries and expectations and...uh...both know what we want."

Oh boy, did they now know what the other wanted.

"Anyway," Alistair said quickly to get away from that provocative thought, "uh, I'll stay away from Drauc. You're right; he needs to come to terms with everything in his own time and come to a decision on his own. I would want that courtesy, if I were in his shoes. For now..." he hesitated, glancing at the rest of the scotch and his nearly-finished salad, before shrugging. Standing up, Alistair moved around the table and held out his hand as he smiled down at Enyd. "Shall we go somewhere less crowded?"

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #9
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

“Oh goody,” Enyd clapped her hands together like a child at the prospect of ice cream for breakfast, adding a wink, “Zark called me a closet kinkster or something along those lines,” she lowered her hands to her lap and shrugged, “so it is so delightful to find another of my kind so readily.”

The latent anxiety that Alistair would barrel off to talk things out with Drauc despite her warning released at his words, and she nodded. He was a survivor, had to be really, so his instinct would lead him to logically realize aggravating a Romulan was akin to poking a sleeping bear. When Alistair came around the table for her, Enyd looked to the scotch but again inwardly shook her head. She no longer “needed” it.

Feeling emboldened by the scotch but more so by the acceptance and returned affection, Enyd placed her hand in Alistair’s and used the grip to tug him close as she stood. The movement allowed her to shamelessly slide herself up his front in a similar fashion as she’d done on Qo’Nos. Holding his hand still, standing chest-to-chest, Enyd smiled as she leaned in to kiss his cheek, then tipped forward on her toes to whisper by his ear, “I thought you’d never ask.”

Enyd lowered herself to her feet and giggled at Alistair’s reaction. She used her free hand to playfully push at his chest so she could get around the table—that, sadly, Zark had not thrown—and they could get on their way. She had no interest in letting go of his hand and no care what others might say or think. Alistair had said it perfectly just a few moments before: apocalyptic events pushed people into decisive action. Of course, not all decisive actions had people contemplating having sex with two people at the same time, but it somehow didn’t surprise that the goddess of chaos would prod her into this precise position.

“You know, Alistair,” Enyd sidled close to his side as they moved through the lounge toward the exit, “I truly am sorry for all that you had to live through to get here,” with her free hand, Enyd gestured to the corridor and passing crewmen, “and I kind of feel like a selfish child for being glad that I get to hold your hand right now.” Enyd brought their joined hands up to her face to emphasize her point and placed a light kiss on the back of his hand.

A break in the passing crew inspired Enyd to shift to the edge of the corridor where one of the alcoves leading into a Jeffries tube was situated. It certainly wasn’t a private area, but it took them out of the main thoroughfare enough for her to feel confident in placing his hand on her waist while she looped her fingers around the back of his neck. The position had her chest arched up and forward, partially balancing on the balls of her feet. It was an intimate stance but nothing so risqué as to draw an inordinate amount of attention from anyone who glanced at them.

Even with all the craziness they’d just discussed and all that they’d already lived through on Qo’Nos, Enyd still felt the jolt of butterflies as she spoke. “I don’t know what your schedule for the rest of the day is like,” The pads of her fingers began tracing over the skin at the base of his skull as she spoke. “And boundaries established or not, I certainly don’t want you put on report for shirking duties. Wouldn’t want you to be a bad boy.” She intentionally laced her words with a tone of double entendre, her lips drawing up in a playful half smile. “But would I be too presumptuous to ask for a kiss before you head off to slay operational dragons?”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #10
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Enyd's flirting, from her touches to her affectionate kisses, had Alistair downright floating on air with each step. He couldn't stop himself grinning like an idiot in the knowledge that this astonishing woman cared for him, wanted more of him, that this was just the start of their relationship, complicated though it would inevitably come. Enyd's confession that she was in a similar state only cemented Alistair's contentment as they walked the corridor.

When Enyd kissed his hand, looking up at him with those dastardly green eyes as she did so, he could only grin back at her with naked affection. Prompted by Enyd's reminder and the weight of the PADD held in his other hand, he thought back to everything that he had survived; Niga, the Borg, the Infested, Praxis. It all seemed so distant in that moment, like it had happened in another lifetime. Alistair briefly thought of Nadene with a guilty pang, but knew that she would only want him to move on, to live, just as he would've wanted for her.

After Enyd pulled him aside and made her request, emphasised by that criminally adorable half-smile and the touch of her fingers on his head, Alistair chuckled under his breath. "Well, under the circumstances,"he said quietly, his blue eyes gazing into Enyd's, "as your official committed lover, I think that I can oblige you with a kiss."

With Enyd thus warned, Alistair leaned in and pressed his lips upon hers. The kiss was light at first, gentle and sensual, before it erupted into passion. With one hand on Enyd's waist and the other supporting her back, Alistair focused on the sweet taste of her, his tongue meeting hers, leaning in to the point that he was holding her up. It was an all-consuming kiss, fueled by nerves and excitement, such that Alistair was slightly dazed after their lips finally parted.

"Okay, wow," he murmured, chuckling under his breath, "I'm looking forward to doing that again. Many times." After a moment's thought, he gently eased Enyd back up straight and let her go before glancing down at the PADD in his hand. "I don't think that I've ever wanted to be naughty more than now. Although..." Alistair hesitated, smiling with uncertainty, "I, uh, did a shift on the Bridge last night and worked all morning, so I'm not technically on duty...I mean, I have a mission to prepare for, but I only get started at 16h00...I was going to do paperwork, but..."

Alistair took a breath, his eyes never leaving Enyd's. "What I mean to say is that if you want me, I'm all yours for the next few hours," he said softly. "We could, uh...walk through the Arboretum...visit the holodeck...take steam..." Seeing Enyd's questioning look, he quickly clarified, "it's a tradition from my homeworld, where you sweat off what you just drank, something carried over from Earth. There's a sauna onboard, I think."

After a moment, Alistair grinned again as he took Enyd's hand in his own. "Call me selfish too, and...uh, maybe I am, but I want to be with you more. A lot more."

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #11
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Once upon a time, they’d naively beamed to Qo’Nos to watch Klingon comedy, utterly unaware of all that would entail. As time had ticked by, they pressed onward even as they were made aware of the building tension of chaos. The slow burn to the explosion of the evening had been intoxicating, enticing them to return to one another’s side to see if it had only been the spell of the evening or if there was something more involved.

This kiss that Alistair laid on her was not so dissimilar from that evening. Her lips were already pulled back in a playful smile when he first pressed his lips to hers. She felt a mirrored affection in his touch and had not tried to hide the soft whimper of delight when it sounded in direct response. And then it happened. The click from simple to complex. Her hands went from a lightly clasped loop around his neck to gripping his shoulders and fisting the material of his uniform. When Alistair tip[ed her back over the supporting arm on her waist, Enyd’s legs shifted to help steady their new position. Feeling the brush of his knee against her inner thigh had Enyd whimpering again. As his tongue moved in and out, tasting her, Enyd clutched herself tightly against him, feeling for a moment as if they were on a ship. A nautical ship, at least, as her world rocked on its axis and remained spinny even after he pulled back from the kiss.

The fact that Alistair could form coherent sentences so soon after that intense of a kiss proved to Enyd that he was undoubtedly the more experienced of the two of them. She was still mute when he set her upright, though she wasn’t so slow in thought that she couldn’t smirk at his naughty comment. This helped to keep her brain engaged and tracking as he explained his freedom for the afternoon. Reaching up to push any disheveled hair back into place, Enyd smiled shyly at his choice of words as he suggested they spend more time together.

Her head gave a small shake before she verbalized her response, having finally rediscovered her ability to speak. “Perhaps NOT the arboretum. That’s where I first met Drauc, and I know he enjoys going there to find peace. I wouldn’t want him to feel like I solicited your support and we were cornering him into something he wasn’t keen on or ready for.” Enyd sucked her lower lip between her teeth and lightly nibbled before adding, “Drauc also enjoys the steam rooms.” Enyd’s eyes widened then, her hands reaching up to press against Alistair’s chest. “I don’t want this to feel like we are avoiding an ‘ex’ or anything because that is not it at all. I just really don’t want him to feel like we are pressuring him or rushing him. Even if he has rejected the concept of being more with me ,and with you through me, I still respect him and regard him highly.”

She leaned her head forward, knocking her forehead against his chest. They were barely twenty minutes into being “official,” and Enyd felt like she was already making a mess of things. Not willing to relinquish her hold of his uniform or step away for fear that he’d run away, Enyd turned her head till her cheek rested over his heart and blinked up at him.

“Could we simulate a traditional steam room from your homeworld in the holodeck as a compromise?” She broke eye contact as she wrapped her arms around his waist and semi-buried herself against him. Her voice was muffled from speaking through his uniform when she quickly added, “I also really want to spend much more time with you. Especially if you have a mission, and with how my missions go, I can only imagine that yours will also entail danger and chaos, and I don’t want to pass over an opportunity.”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #12
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Enyd's concern for Drauc was very endearing, and Alistair gamely wrapped an arm around her back as she rested her head on his breast, instinctively sensing that she needed the close contact. It felt odd to be the strong one, to be one offering solace and comfort, but also...good? Warm? Enyd's grip felt desperate, urgent, as if she was afraid to let go. Lost in the feel of her and her scent (mixed as it was with the faint tang of scotch), Alistair just held her, hoping that he (and Drauc, if possible) would be enough. to make her feel secure He knew full well what it was like to be terrified of messing things up. Realising that Enyd felt the same way was surprising, yet also deepened his affection for her.

It was only the latest aspect of the ever-deepening complexity of Enyd Madsen to be revealed, and Alistair was growing ever more fascinated and enamoured with each new discovery.

At Enyd's next words as she looked up at him, he chuckled under his breath. "Uh, as much as I like the idea of you thinking that I'm such dashing hero," he said quietly, looking down at Enyd as he stroked her back, ignoring the chatter of passing crewmen behind him, "I'm really not. People like me don't do the hero stuff. I'm not even on the mission tonight; I'm just helping the people are, backing them up from up here."

Briefly Alistair remembered that Zark was on the mission, and he sighed, hating that he couldn't say anything. If all went well, not even the away team would know that he'd helped them. "I need to drop this PADD off and do a couple of other things, but I'll meet you in Holodeck 7 in...uh...ten minutes, fifteen at the most. My homeworld's specific style of steam rooms won't be in our databanks, though. it's a tiny colony out in the middle of nowhere...I might design a program one day, actually, try to distribute it throughout the Federation networks, there must be others who'd like to experience that..."

Realising that he was rambling, Alistair smiled bashfully down at Enyd. "Sorry. What I mean to say is, just load up whatever steam room program you like and get comfortable. I'll join you soon, alright?"

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #13
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Playing swatting at Alistair’s chest, Enyd clicked her tongue against her teeth. “Heroes like you keep the away teams informed enough to get them back alive.” She smoothed her hand over the area she’d swatted, hugging him tightly as she added, “Don’t discount the heroism of an apt mind for tech and strategic operations. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and, by necessity, need to be in more places than on the front lines. So, basically, shut up. You’re my hero.”

When he started speaking about his short to-do list, Enyd loosened her grip around his waist. She again nibbled on her lip in thought. It was up to her to design the program for them to enjoy. Although she’d by now had more than a few jaunts in the holodeck, namely thanks to Zark and Mickayla, she hadn’t yet designed a program. And that was when her eyes widened, and her cheeks warmed, listening to Alistair speak. While Enyd always found him attractive, there was something downright sexy about his aura whenever he spoke “tech.” He would also take on that assertive expression, his vocal intonations shifting.

“Can you promise to speak technobabble to me when we’re in bed together in the future?” Enyd’s cheeks remained warm with a blush as she pretended to fan herself, bright smile alight on her face. “What you think you should apologize for, I find fascinating, and you apparently have no idea how sexy you become when you’re talking about your work and expertise.” She quickly placed a spontaneous kiss on his cheek. “I’ll try to figure something out. Meet you at the holodeck on deck 8?”

She gave him another quick kiss before forcefully extracting herself from his arms and hurrying away. Since his list wasn’t overly long, Enyd knew she was limited in time to design something special. It took only a matter of minutes to stand outside holodeck 2, fingers tapping her chin as she contemplated the console. What type of program…

“Thea, please connect me to Lieutenant Zark.”

[You are now connected to Lieutenant Zark, Lieutenant Madsen.]

“Hey Zark, sorry to bother you, but I have a quick question.” Enyd sighed, shaking her head. “Well, maybe it’s not technically quick, but I only have a little bit of time to prepare.”

Zark is in her quarters wearing a T Shirt that's hanging off one shoulder and is doing a poor job of covering her. [For you, Enyd, anything, what's happening?]

Enyd chuckled, “One day I'll hold you to that remark.” She lowered her hand from cradling her chin and began swinging her arms back and forth as she continued. “As to what's happening, well, please don't scream, but Alistair is going to meet me in probably another ten minutes or so at holodeck 2 and it's my job to create a holoprogram to accommodate a steam bath."

Unbeknownst the Enyd, a shapely platinum eyebrow arches as blue-green eyes begin to narrow into dirty moons, and a smirk quickly forms on the blue face [I see. And you want to use the Lake House?]

"Only if that's okay with you, of course.” Enyd clasped her hands behind her back and rocked up and down on the balls of her feet. “I loved it so much, and I think Alistair would enjoy it too. Nessie and all. I just wanted your permission to use it first, and then, I needed to know the program's name."

Zark flashes a brilliant, if somewhat naughty smile. [Of course you can use it. The program name is XamotZark Jasper Lake House. Gimme a moment to give you access.] Zark quickly finishes typing a series of commands. [You should have access now. So are you planning on wearing a towel when he gets there and let him unwrap you, or are you gonna leave a trail of flowers to the steam room and act as if your birthday suit is the most normal attire in the universe?]

"Er, uh, I don't know.” Enyd blushed, eyes darting up to stare at the ceiling as it held the answers. “I hadn't even thought about what I'd be wearing or not wearing. I just wanted to create an environment first that was relaxing but not too blatant, you know?” Enyd smirked. Perhaps Zark DIDN’T know, considering she was Zark. “What would you suggest? I mean, I'm not trying to suggest that I want to bang him right out the gate. Just because we will both happen to be naked, or near so, doesn't mean that's the inevitable." Her statement sounded lame even to her own ears but she left the teasing if there was to be any, to Zark.

On her end of the link, Zark ives Enyd The Look. [Uh huh. And who was it that I last saw trying to leak her own brains out her nose when an imaginary hard muscular baldy was offering his hand to have a private swim in the pool?] Zark's expression softens. [There's no need to answer that. At least put on a swimming suit that says you when you go in, and you can wrap a towel around you as nice gift wrapping. Something relaxing. Well, I'd suggest a Finnish steam room, from Finland on Earth. Those ones are usually small and intimate. In fact.] Zark begins typing furiously under a time constraint. [There. I've attached a small steam room to the on suite of the master bedroom. I wouldn't suggest an Andorian steam room since the benches are usually made out of ice, and we use volcanic hot springs, so the sulfur can be overwhelming.]

"Guilty, but that wasn't me setting up the scene. You controlled that fantasy too." Enyd wagged her finger at the console as if Zark were residing within it. "Gift wrapping, seriously?" The flat of her palm briefly met her forehead then she shifted closer to the console as if to start accessing the program. "Finnish steam room, got it.” She dropped her hands back to her sides when Zark announced she’d already programmed it in. She really needed to get lessons from either Zark or Alistair on this tech stuff. At the mention of Andorian steam rooms, Enyd remembered her old classmates and smiled. "Oh yes, I remember going to a traditional steam room while on Andoria. I loved it! But you're right; it wasn't really conducive to non-Andorian intimacy building." Enyd glanced down the corridor, hoping Alistair wasn’t already arriving. "Okay, so, any other advice you'd like to give before I get this program going?"

[Uhmmmmmmm, make sure to bring herbal teas, juice, and mineral water. Light beer if you want alcohol in there. Drink often and light. No chugging, or you'll be running to the washroom often. I hope you haven't eaten too much; otherwise, the blood circulation to your skin is going to get crossed with your digestion, and it'll pull blood away from your brain, so watch out for dizziness.] Zark's salacious smile returned once more. [Or don't and just fall on him. Aside from that, make sure to bring plenty of towels. Much softer on the back in case you can't wait to make it to the bed.]

Enyd felt her ears warm immediately after the blush shot up her neck and tinged her cheeks red. "The absolute walking definition of incorrigible, that you are dearest. Are you certain YOU'RE not the goddess of chaos having a grand time tossing mayhem at me?" Enyd shook her head, chuckling at her friend. "Thank you for the tips, and thank you for your help. I'll let you know how things go." She shot a glare at the ceiling. "And by that, I don't mean I'm going to tell you ALL the details. You can watch the vid from Qo'Nos for clues in that case."

[Of course, I'm incorrigible, that's what friends are for, and I'll get around to watching the video at some point, maybe when I need to do something scandalous to myself. I'm sure I'll let me know what I think what details are appropriate. Have fun!] Starts to turn off the connection and pauses. [By the way, I'm totally serious about gift wrapping, you want an intimate setting? Make it fun! Add some anticipation and tension to it. Tease him.]

Enyd had a brief image of herself sitting naked with a bow on her head and matching ones tied around her wrists and ankles. "Oh heavens, I love you Zark.” She shook the image away and smiled. “I'll see if I can conjure up some tinsel and bows then. Thanks again.” Enyd cued the program but didn’t immediately go inside. “Talk to you later."

She heard Zark blow a kiss before ending the connection. The holoarch opened directly into the large living room Enyd remembered of the wooden cottage of her first outing with Zark. The same square couch that dually horseshoed around the raised granite fireplace greeted her with memories of tickling Zark and eating far too much ice cream. The wall of windows parallel to the living room displayed a sunset view of the snowy mountains, and after a moment’s observation, Enyd’s smile grew when she saw Nessie’s long head rise from the lake's crystalline waters at the bottom of the hill where the cottage rested. The evergreens bordering the edges of the cottage were still covered in a white dusting, though the program wasn’t showing active snow at the moment.

Enyd started to move toward the master bedroom, intent on getting into a swimsuit before Alistair arrived. But then she remembered Zark’s suggestion of a flower trail. Enyd looked around, then down at herself. It wasn’t a flower, but dropping an article of clothing every few steps could work, she supposed. First, a shoe by the holoarch, then a stocking near the edge of the couch, the matching pair spaced further along the route to the bedroom with her uniform jacket left hanging from the doorknob that led into the bedroom. Her trousers were left at the foot of the bed, her undershirt on the carpet between the bed and the bathroom, her underwear hanging from the bathroom doorknob, and her bra on the bathroom floor pointing, in a fashion, to the steam room itself.

Standing nude just outside the steam room, Enyd frowned. What kind of swimsuit matched her? She was still contemplating the puzzle when she heard the holoarch open and scrambled to grab one of the bathrobes hanging on the wall outside the steam room. Her efforts to hide under the material and prevent “peeping” was so thorough that Enyd quickly realized, with a groan, that the knot she’d made in her robe tie was so tight she’d need help to get it undone. She sighed and shook her head at the noisome knot before taking a seat on the edge of the granite bathtb. She didn’t want to go into the steam room until she knew it was Alistair who’d come into the program and not an overly playful Zark.

OOC: Thanks to @RyeTanker for Zark dialogue!

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #14
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

After Enyd scarpered down the corridor, Alistair remained where he was for a few moments, trying to process what Enyd had just said. He ran his hand over his face, frowning in befuddlement.

"Technobabble is sexy?" he muttered to himself in astonishmemt, heedless of a passing ensign who looked at him in askance before shrugging and proceeding on. "What? What?"

Still thoroughly confused, Alistair nevertheless got on his way, grinning upon entering the turbolift when he thought back to the kiss, the conversation, the commitment, all of it. Indeed, he was rather distracted as he dealt with other matters, only answering Selena's question about a diagnostic analysis after she repeated it twice. She likely wondered if he was ill so Alistair made an effort to allay her concerns, but he was still unusually chirpy when he left. Thrumming with excitement and anticipation, knowing that a beautiful and astonishing woman was waiting for him, his joy was bulletproof.

Upon finding the holodeck, Alistair hesitated before opening the door, his stomach roiling, more nervous than ever. Nevertheless, after taking a deep breath, he opened the big door and stepped over the threshold.

"Woah," Alistair said in a low voice as he looked around, the door closing behind him. The warm living room that he'd been deposited in was the definition of 'cosy', a strong contrast to the stark technological coldness of a starship. A fire crackled merrily in the fireplace, perfectly offsetting the winter setting. Even the fire's heat itself was comforting, enveloping, mixed with the homely scents.

Then Alistair spotted the discarded clothes; the shoe by his feet, the stockings, and the jacket hanging from a doorknob. "Alright then, Enyd," Alistair said softly, grinning, despite his own nerves. Deciding that it was only polite, he removed his own shoes and socks, setting them neatly next to the front door before moving further in. Alistair was momentarily distracted however, when, while walking across the room, he spotted an strange shape in the great lake outside. After spending a moment wondering at the huge long-necked figure in bemusement, he continued on, taking Enyd's jacket off the knob and setting it aside on a dresser.

Alistair gingerly opened the door, half dreading (and half hoping) that Enyd would be waiting naked in the room beyond...but no. Instead, more clothes lay in a tantalising line to the bathroom, with Enyd's discarded underwear leaving no allusions to what their owner was currently wearing. Tense from anticipation, Alistair opened the next door to finally see her, perched on the edge of the bathtub, fully enveloped in a comfy-looking fluffy white robe.

"Hi," he said quietly, a slow smile forming as he took in the view. Oddly, Enyd looked even more alluring in the robe than without, especially with her warm smile. "This place is really quite beautiful. Just...beautiful." Alistair's eyes never left Enyd as he spoke. Stepping forward, his toes caught on Enyd's bra and he looked down, eyes wide. "Oh...right."

Looking up at Enyd again, he grinned awkwardly. "So this might seem like an odd question, under the circumstamces, but...well...why is there a giant creature in the lake? I could've sworn that there was nothing like that on Earth, and this looks like Earth..."

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #15
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Strange how bare toes could be so distracting, and yet Alistair’s were. From the moment he walked into the bathroom, a smile on his face, still dressed in his uniform aside from the bare feet, Enyd’s attention had been divided between the warmth of his gaze and his feet. She’d seen far more nude flesh, yet there was something intimate about waiting for him in the bathroom, clad in nothing but a robe. It was quite a domestic scene, and the combination of its simplicity and its implications set a blush alight on Enyd’s cheeks as her heart warmed still more with the burgeoning reality they were entering together.

Alistair’s question had Enyd giggling, hands remaining fisted in the robe's material as if she feared it would fly open with her laughter. “Zark designed this program. I spoke to her before you arrived, and she added on this steam room,” she gestured to the wooden door adjacent to the edge of the tub, “and knowing her, she probably added other little things here and there to surprise us both. But you saw the honest-to-goodness Loch Ness Monster down there.” Enyd gave an exaggerated head nod. “My first time here, Zark about buried me in an avalanche and then forgot to warn me about Nessie and, well, it turned out well obviously, but at the time, I wondered if it would be death by holographic monster. Turns out Nessie likes fish and not human flesh.”

Enyd’s eyes roved over Alistair’s still-clothed form before she stood and put her hand on the steam room door knob, “I’ll wait inside for you. Give you some, uh, privacy.” She laughed at how ludicrous that seemed, all things considered, but still left Alistair alone in the bathroom when she opened the door and was immediately enveloped in a cloud of steam.

The room had a piney scent, likely thanks to the wooden benches affixed at different heights along three walls in the room. Two buckets hung from fixtures on opposite walls, constantly fed with cold water from the lake below. Ladles bobbed in the churning water in case one overheated and wanted to be refreshed. A square table filled with heated rocks of various colors and sizes jutted up from the middle of the floor, and it was from this table that the steam emitted, giving off a comforting herbal scent as the steam wafted toward the ceiling. A few collected bunches of tree leaves were scattered on the different benches, and upon inspection, Enyd realized they were birch leaves. She remembered the oil in the leaf could be used for pain relief while the sting from whipping oneself with the leaf bunch could increase circulation.

Enyd quickly shucked off the robe and left it hanging from a peg near the door, retreating to the darkest, steamiest corner in the room. She took two bunches of leaves with her and held them in front of her body for some—silly—semblance of cover as she sat her nude derriere on the warm wood of a mid-level bench. While she continued to study the ornate wood carvings Zark had programmed to appear in the wooden walls of the steam room, half her mind was focused on the door, curious if Alistair would enter nude or follow her rather ridiculous suit and try to remain covered.

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #16
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Quite distracted by the whole situation and Enyd's shameless eyes, Alistair took a moment too long to register the obvious, and he picked up a towel a rail. "Hey, don't you want a..." he said, stopping when he saw that Enyd had already gone in, "...towel. Ah. Okay. Yeah. Alright then." Glancing down at the bra left on the floor, he gulped. "Makes sense. Yep. Of course."

Abruptly realising that he was wasting precious time, Alistair then hurriedly got to work disrobing. He was nevertheless quite efficient and orderly about it; the jacket and shirt were removed first and neatly folded on top of a small table in the bedroom, followed in due course by the pants and (after a moment of marvelling at what he was doing) the underwear. Fully naked now, his heart racing, Alistair even picked up Enyd's bra and set it on top of his jacket, just to be courteous. The entire exercise couldn't have taken more than a minute, but it felt tortorously long.

Feeling thoroughly exposed (even more than on the stage, oddly), Alistair hesitated at the sauna door., weighing the option of following Enyd's example. It was tempting in an thrilling and outrageous way, but after a moment's thought, he took a fluffy white towel and tied it around his waist, smiling all the while. Enyd wasn't the only one who could play games; she would have to work to claim her prize.

Besides, the towel felt wonderfully comfortable in the sauna while simultaneously giving certain body parts room to breathe. It was a rare and cherished sensation.

Finally, fully prepared (and still not believing what he was doing), Alistair opened the door to be greeted by a blast of humid heat. After quickly closing the door, he closed his eyes and gasped in contentment, rolling his shoulders experimentally. Opening his eyes, he saw Enyd obscured in the far corner and grinned.

"Oh, this feels fantastic," he said, stretching his arms over his head. "Vulcan has a dry heat, mostly, it's just not the same." Glancing at the walls, he traced a finger along the carvings. "If you see Zark first, please thank her for me, and...uh, us. She has great taste. Oh, not'm not planning to meet her, not until you're comfortable with that, but anything can happen, and...well...right."

With that, banishing thoughts of the mission that Zark was embarking on later, Alistair took the excuse of carefully ladling some more water onto the rocks, adding a bit more steam to the room. That done, he duly moved to sit across from Enyd, grinning when he properly saw her choice of "attire". It was an simultaneously erotic and endearing sight, one that Alistair immediately made a point to fix into his mind.

"So..." he said with amusement as he relaxed, "normally, here, I see people wearing towels, or light clothes, or...well, nothing. The leaves are a new one for me, but I like them. You look good with wearable foliage. More than good, actually."

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #17
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Alistair entered clad in a towel, bringing a smile to Enyd’s face. It seemed he hadn’t had the wardrobe malfunction she’d had, and he’d thought to take a towel, whereas she’d been in a sure-fire hurry to get settled before he joined her. His first comment about Vulcan brought back fond memories, and nodding, Enyd gave the leaves a subtle rustle as she shifted the bunches to a new position before responding.

“I enjoyed the dry heat on Vulcan. Did you ever make it out to Eridani Beach along Lake Yuron? I often rented a bungalow there during my breaks, and the owner was a tea fanatic because all the bushes, trees, and flowers around the garden could be used to make tea. They also had patterned sand patches that could be used for meditation and a wooden gazebo where I liked to sit and write or read. It had no modern technology, so everything was very traditional and exactly what my soul needed.” Enyd glanced down, wiggling her toes a moment, before smiling shyly back at Alistair, “Once this is over, if you’d like, I remember where it is, and I still have the owner’s contact information. I could take you there.”

Enyd chuckled at Alistair’s verbal diarrhea, marveling that they both tripped over their words so easily. That they were still so shy around each other was also amusing.

“Alistair, you have duties and responsibilities on the ship that will require you to meet with many people. I don’t claim ownership of your socialization.” She crossed her eyes at him and stuck out the tip of her tongue. “I actually think it’d be great to get you two together. She’s already heard so much about you, and now you, much the same. If anything, it might help things move forward more smoothly.”

Enyd moved one set of leaves to shake in the air at Alistair when he teased her about them, careful to keep the others in front of her, blocking most of his view.

“I had a wardrobe malfunction. I was in such a hurry to get the robe on that I tied the knot too tightly and completely forgot about the towels. So I had to take it off over my head before you came in. If I put it back on, we’ll have to work on that knot together; otherwise, it’ll go on the same way it came off.” She pointed the bunch of leaves toward her head and shrugged. “Have you ever used birch leaves in a sauna? The oil is anti-inflammatory, and the light whips from the branches increase circulation.” Enyd glanced around the sauna, realizing she’d taken all the leaves to use as clothing. After a moment’s thought, Enyd smirked back at Alistair, subtly widening her legs a little and using one leaf bunch to point to the bench where her feet were resting. Indicating he move to sit in front of her. “If you like, I can massage some of the oil into your shoulders. Sitting at your console so long can add tension there.”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #18
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Increasingly relaxed amidst the penetrating heat, feeling himself already starting to sweat, Alistair simply sat back and relished the sensation. Enyd provided a tantalising view, ever so carefully concealing herself, giving him only glimpses amidst the steamy dim light; the curve of a breast, the outline of a thigh. When Enyd opened her legs with that mischievous smirk, Alistair's eyes widened, but her suggestion was innocent. Well, relatively speaking. Well, not so much; the mental image of Enyd running her oiled hands over his body (and thus being unable to hold the birch branches as an added bonus) downright made Alistair's mouth dry.

Still, he couldn't help a smirk of his own. Enyd wasn't the only one who could play.

"Good idea," Alistair said as he stood and took a small bottle of oil of a shelf and moved to the bench that Enyd's feet were resting on. There clearly wasn't enough space for him. "Ah, would you up a bit more?"

After Emyd obliged, Alistair stepped over the next bench to stand between Enyd's legs. Their relative heights and the closeness of the benches brought his towelled waist directly in front of Enyd's eyes for a moment before he promptly sat down. They were so close that Alistair's knees touched Enyd's thighs, the contact and close proximity sending an electricfying rush through his body.

"Still, I think that you could use this more than me, so it's only fair that you go first," he said quietly, looking into Enyd's eyes all the while. "I know you've been busy lately, going on places, walking a lot, and that must be hard on your feet, right?" Very slowly and deliberately, Alistair hooked his hand under Enyd's knee and raised it before guiding her foot onto his lap. Squirting his oil into his palms, he rubbed his hands together before starting to massage Enyd's sole, moving slowly and sensually. Alistair glanced up at Enyd on occasion, gauging her reaction.

"It's been a while since I've done this to someone else," he said quietly as he worked, progressing upward. "The Ops station on my first posting had no chair, so I had to learn how to take care of myself properly. Standing a combat watch for twenty hours straight can really be hard on your feet. You have beautiful feet, by the way.  Nicely shaped and cute. Not that I...well, not that I usually pay attention to that."

After a minute or so of thorough massaging, Alistair progressed to Enyd's calf, rubbing oil up and down with his firm hands.

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #19
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Enyd’s eyes widened at Alistair’s intentional approach. Here she’d been offering to help him with stress relief, and the man had gone and flipped the coin on her.

“Oh, um, sure.” She accommodated his request, shifting one bunch of leaves down to rest in her lap while she clutched the other bunch against her chest as if it was a lifeline in a sea of uncertainty.

Enyd gulped and briefly averted her eyes when his bare torso blocked her view of anything else. It lasted but a moment, but it was enough to have Enyd’s heart rate increase and the sheen of sweat on her skin resulting from the sauna and her hormonal response. If Alistair was as “perturbed” with the proximity change, he didn’t seem to give off the same amount of nervousness as Enyd knew she was. His eye contact was constant, and his words even, the offer for a foot rub, sincere and beyond considerate. She had thought little about how much she’d been on her feet or needed to remain on her feet in movement until he brought her attention to it.

“Um, sure, thank you, Alistair. That’s very kind of you. I hadn’t really thought much about it.” Enyd spoke in a highly distracted tone, her eyes riveted on his hands as he moved them over her skin, placing her foot in his lap for a moment before he began the massage itself. “I wouldn’t have known you were out of practice if you hadn’t said anything.” She broke her fascinated stare at his hands on her skin by looking back at his smiling face and winking. There was no reason she needed to be so on edge with him. It was no longer an “if” they were going to become intimate but a “when,” and this continued anxiety was a wasted use of quality time spent with him. “I’ve been consistently on my feet for a few missions before, but I don’t think it was ever twenty hours without some sort of sitting, be it by being kidnapped or hogtied in the process of accomplishing the mission.” She chuckled at her own joke that wasn’t too far-fetched considering recent missions.

Alistair’s comment about her feet had Enyd raising a single eyebrow in curiosity, gaze moving from his face to study her own feet, namely the foot cradled in his hands. She’d never given their shape much thought. She had average-sized feet for her stature, and growing up on the ranch meant she’d often been barefoot. Enyd stated as much to Alistair as his fingers worked up her calf, keeping her leg fully supported in his hands.

“If you ever think about getting out of ops, I think you have a fairly good chance of making a living as a massage therapist.” Enyd pulled the one leg from his grasp and wiggled her other foot in front of him, eager for more and equally eager to give him some attention in return. “Of course, I am terribly biased at this point.” Forcing herself to relax against the wooden wall behind her, Enyd kept the leaves close to her chest but didn’t clutch them nearly as tightly as she had been earlier. “So, when you aren’t seducing diplomats with foot massages, what do you typically do to relax and reset? Do you recharge best with large group settings, smaller, more intimate groups, or more one-on-one or alone?”

It struck Enyd as rather odd that they were having this line of a conversational topic after having seen each other virtually naked and nearly engaging in coitus more than once. Yet, they lived in strange enough times that sometimes the cart did, in fact, go before the horse.

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #20
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

As he began working on Enyd's other foot, Alistair chuckled self-consciously at her question, looking away briefly. "Ah...well, you might as learn this now." Looking at Enyd with a sheepish smile as he rubbed, he continued, "I'm terrible at relaxing. Awful, really. In my second month at the Department of Temporal Investigations, my supervisor cancelled my overnight and weekend access when he realised how often I was staying beyond my regular hours. He actually spent four straight days taking me around Vulcan with his wife, trying everything you can imagine, until he was satisfied that I had learned how to relax properly."

Still smiling at the memory, Alistair rolled his shoulders as his thumbs worked Enyd's heel. "I did a few things on Vulcan. Hiking, coding tournaments, watching the local racing; the technical side of air-racing is fascinating. Here, though, on the ship? I'm still working things out. The gym is great for unwinding, and otherwise I try to spend time with people that I like, in an intimate group or, well, one-on-one, like this."

Alistair laughed softly, shaking his head; the wondrous penetrating heat really was doing a number on him, with his body bearing a distinct sheen. "Okay, not exactly like this, know what I mean. Counselor Rhys Williams and I get along great, if you ever meet him, he's very sweet. Azrin Ryn too." Working Enyd's calf, Alistair was quiet for a moment, the cosy confinement of the sauna even more prevalent than before. "What I mean to say is that if you ever see me not relaxing enough, you have free license to drag me somewhere and beat the relaxation into me if necessary. Preferably with more clothes than now if we're with other people."

Finally Alistair finished, and he grinned at Enyd with a distinct sparkle in his eye. "All done. Hope that helped; I'm always happy to do more in the future as needed if you want. Now, what does a diplomat do when she's not seducing innocent and helpless Ops officers?"

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #21
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

Rolling her eyes, Enyd shook her head, “Alistair, that is relaxing. Some folks relax by staying occupied, and it sounds like you’re one of those. Lucky for you, so am I. Even when off duty, I’m still strategizing over the puzzle of relationships and find that by staying busy on other projects, I can often come up with ready solutions. So that’s why I am a Renaissance woman in that I am knowledgeable of many things and have obtained many skills, but I’m not exactly an expert on any one thing. So you won’t get much of an argument from me about that. If anything, it may prove helpful for us to strategize together, discuss some of our challenges, and offer feedback or insight.” Enyd reached up to tuck steam-moistened hair behind her ears, smiling affectionately at the handsome man rubbing her feet. “Sometimes, in telling someone else about your successes and failures, they act as a living vault of intel on you, and when something new crops up, they are almost faster at reminding you of how you faced something similar before and how you got through it. That’s what I appreciated about my relationships with Javec and Victor. While they didn’t respond the same and assuredly didn’t give the same type of feedback, they functioned similarly, and I think that’s healthy and likely part of what a functioning relationship does.” Chuckling, Enyd was quick to add, “And, as I told you earlier, anytime you speak technobabble, I’m enthralled, so you never have to worry about boring me. You may have to worry about keeping your clothes on, though.”

The mental image of Alistair rubbing Rhys’ feet in a sauna like he was now with her had Enyd laughing. She’d met Rhys briefly at the concert some days before and knew very little about him besides that. The Welshman had seemed soft-spoken and kind, perhaps a little uncertain about things as well. Enyd didn’t know if the gentle giant of a man would welcome a foot rub from Alistair or Enyd more but set the mental thought aside to explore more later. Everyone on the ship needed more friends, and maybe he would enjoy some of their future adventures.

“Speaking of beating relaxation into you,” Enyd commented when Alistair finished, pulling his hands from her calf, “it helped immensely, thank you, and now it is my turn.” She motioned for him to turn around so she could scoot forward, legs falling on either side of his hips as she sat behind him. “Well, contrary to how often you’ve seen me naked, or nearabouts, during our acquaintance, I am not a nudist, and neither do I prefer being nude. And if you claim innocence or helplessness one more time, Alistair, your nose will grow like Pinocchio.”

Enyd waited until he’d settled himself between her legs before she pulled the leaves away from her lap and scooted closer. Instead of using the oil from the canister along the wall, Enyd utilized the ancient methods and began tearing the leaves off the branches, crushing them between her fingers, then rubbing the broken pieces of leaf with oil over his skin. After working through an entire bunch of leaves, with Alistair’s shoulders and upper back covered in leaf bits and shining oil, Enyd kneaded her fingers into his neck muscles. She would work her way down from the neck to just below the shoulder blades, fanning out from the spine to both the left and the right. She was not silent through this process, taking the time to move through her list of hobbies.

“Anything outdoors, which should be of no surprise, considering I grew up on a ranch in Montana. So trekking, camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, cattle wrestling, gardening, you name it if it is outside, I’ve probably tried it once and loved it or would be willing to try it again. Then, for the indoor side of life, dance and gymnastics, martial arts, and swordplay. For the more sitting still type of stuff, if you can manage that for me, reading and writing, research on cultural ceremonies, history, and on occasion, silent meditation. That one is very rare, though, I’ll admit.”

Enyd was suddenly struck with a memory of the conversation with Drauc. Her fingers were still just long enough to lean forward. While she was aware of how her nipples brushed against his back, Enyd was more focused on asking than paying attention to how such a touch may derail Alistair’s ability to concentrate on an answer.

“What are non-negotiables for you, Alistair? I mean, we all have our own internal moral compass. So by what non-negotiables do you operate?” She chuckled, placing a quick kiss beneath his ear before shifting back and resuming the massage. “Not to make you sound like a robot, but I hope you know what I mean.”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #22
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

By the time Enyd asked her question, Alistair had been successfully reduced to sentient putty. Fully aware of Enyd's intimate proximity, he allowed himself to simply enjoy both the massage and the conversation, far too relaxed to worry about anything. Remarkably, Alistair was enjoying the conversation so much that. unlike in Saq'wa City, he was in no rush to pogress to the inevitable next stage of their relationship. There was no tension, no uncertainty, just comfort and ease. It was a state of being that Alistair had not experienced in a very long time indeed.

"There's nothing wrong with robots," he pointed out, glancing over his shoulder with a grin. "I like robots. They're predictable, logical, reliable, resilient...there are worse things to be compared to." Feeling quite daring, Alistair placed a hand on each of Enyd's thighs, rubbing them slowly. "Moral non-negotiables...that's a big question to ask a man as you're making him feel this good. Uh..."

After pondering for a moment, Alistair finally said softly, "I don't do...uh...dishonesty. Obviously there are times when we have to lie as part of our job, or conceal the truth, and that's especially true at the DTI. Off-duty, though, I try not to hold secrets or lie, especially to people that I care about, even if the truth is hard or painful. That's important for me. If you ask me a question, I'll answer. There's a historical basis for that, if you ever want to know the details."

Continuing to rub Enyd's thighs, Alistair continued, "The rest is...uh...obvious, I guess. Treat violence is a last resort, hold respect for all life, uphold the Temporal Prime Directive...never be cruel, never be cowardly. Never give up, never give in. Just be kind." Alistair chuckled derisively. "I make it sound more dramatic than it is. Most people in Starfleet are like that. It's the main reason that I joined...and, well, because time travel and positronic computing are really cool. But also the moral thing."

On impulse, wanting to look Enyd in the eye as he asked his own question, Alistair turned to sit sideways on the bench, his thigh resting horizontally on the seat. His blue eyes immediately found Enyd's, not distracted by her nude form for even a moment, and one hand went to her side as the other rested on her knee. The towel, defying the odds, stayed firmly tied.

"And what about you, Enyd?" Alistair asked quietly with a gentle smile. "What do you believe in?"

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #23
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Griff

“Oh yes, I love robots too. I grew up watching and reading old stories that featured machines that could morph their shape and appear more human-like, at least in the nature of having arms and legs and a discernable head. They would fight against each other sometimes and one faction was more pro-human than the other.” Enyd paused in her massaging as she tried to think of the name of the story series. “Have you seen anything like that? I can’t recall the name right now, but it was one of my favorite story series and in the vids,” Enyd tipped her head forward, leaning her forehead against Alistair’s shoulder, “the voice actor for the main hero was very good. Had a wonderful voice. I am unashamed to admit my first crush was on a robot as a result.”

The warmth of Alistair’s hands traveled through his touch on her thighs, with the comfort from his touch warming to the quick of her heart. She resumed her work on his neck and shoulders as he verbally mulled over the answer to her question. It had been a very serious question to ask in what should be a relaxing conversation, but Enyd had trusted Alistair to rise to the occasion, and he had most certainly done so. His list was clear, mature, and assuredly a list she agreed with. Enyd hummed on occasion as she worked and he spoke to signal she was listening and affirming his sentiments. Her hands fell away and her mind paused in thought when Alistair shifted, turning to face her.

His gaze was open. His touch was unhurried. There was still the affection and attraction obviously felt between them, but it was more comfortable now, especially since they were discussing real things. Not that physical intimacy wasn’t real. But these were the building blocks to a real relationship that went beyond the bedroom and into a solid future. Enyd brushed her fingers over his brow, smoothing away sweat droplets and steam condensation before it could trickle down his forehead and threaten his eyes.

“When on duty, I recognize that many things have to be put into perspective and the needs of now and the needs of then, the desires of me versus the requirements of them, all weighed and measured. Sometimes that means glossing over the truth. And sometimes that means stripping naked and dancing on a table to create a diversion.” Enyd responded while keeping her fingers busy, tracing rivulets on his face and then along the arm extended over her thigh, his hand firmly placed on her waist. “But the motive is important to me. If there is a justifiable reason for someone to do something, even if it is something against me, it helps me process and helps me persevere through the consequences. That’s not to say we can excuse deplorable things with a good lawyer. But deplorable things can be more easily lived through when motive and context are understood clearly.”

Enyd paused a moment before she pushed lightly at Alistair’s shoulders. Before he could protest or question, Enyd moved off her bench and shimmied her way against him until she managed to sit between his legs with her back against his chest.

“I also don’t play games or ‘do’ dishonesty outside of what is required when on duty.” She pulled his arms around her like one might wrap a towel around their shoulders, keeping her hands over his as she drew his arms crisscrossed over her chest and placed his hands just under her breasts. She wasn’t trying to initiate anything or even change the subject, but considering the depth of the conversation, she felt the need to be closer and acted on impulse. “The needs of the many outweigh my own in basically every scenario I can concoct. I truly believe that. I exist not to live only for my pleasure and past times. My time is not my own to spend in mere frivolity. There is a purpose for life, even for the pains of life, and I must always work towards that purpose. I live a finite life, but my efforts and influence can have an infinite impact, and it is up to me if I want that to be for the betterment or detriment of those I love and those I believe in.”

Her head lying on his shoulder with the solid warmth of his chest against her back, Enyd tilted sideways enough to glance at Alistair’s face. She smiled at him, leaned forward to press a light kiss against his jawline, then settled herself more firmly against him.

“Your turn for a serious question.”

Re: Day 13 [1210 hrs.] Awkwardness Abounds

Reply #24
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Holodeck 2 | Deck 8 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @Ellen Fitz

Amidst the blissfully numbing heat and humidity, it was wonderfully easy to just sit and listen to Enyd talk. Alistair reflected with contentment that he could cheerfully listen to Enyd talk for hours. Her smooth voice, trained eloquence and joyful approach to life were enamouring him more and more with each moment that they spent together. What had begun as bemused confusion to Enyd's teasing (and, Alistair realised in retrospect, obvious flirting) had blossomed into a fierce attraction that transcended the physical. With each layer of the Enyd Madsen mystery that was revealed, that attraction and fascination grew.

As another aspect of Enyd revealed itself, Alistair felt himself becoming even more smitten. This wasn't just a woman to marvel at, to laugh with and to enjoy; this was a woman to connect to on a fundamental level. On that basic heartfelt credo, they were remarkably alike. As Enyd settled herself against him, her warm body enveloped by his larger frame, Alistair reflected on something that he'd suspected for a while, but was becoming ever more certain of.

Enyd wasn't just a dangerous woman. She might just be the most dangerous woman that he'd ever met.

After Enyd planted an affectionate kiss on his jaw, Alistair smiled softly down at her, his thumbs lightly rubbing her stomach. "What sort of question can possibly follow up that?" he mused in a whisper amidst the complete silence around them, both lovers being impossibly comfortable in that moment. "You are amazing, Enyd Madsen. I suspected it before...hoped, I guess...but now I know it."

After a moment's thought, his eyes traced her head lazily, noting every detail in the dim light of the sauna. Alistair wondered idly if her ears had a slight point...was it just his imagination since she'd used a Vulcan proverb? And what was that media that Enyd had described? It sounded achingly familiar...21st century? 20th? Maybe 22nd...changing had to be one of the shows that he'd watched at university...

Not the time, Alistair.

"What do you want from your life?" he whispered into Enyd's ear, the words (for once) coming without filter. "You know...personally, just for you, not for anyone else. What do you dream of?"

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