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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nice work.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reply #9
[Hirek tr’Aimne] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Hirek snorted over his glass at her question, “Not counting the Romulans on this ship? Or the Tal’Shiar agents I was planted with on Qo’Nos?” He returned his gaze to Reika’s, a sardonic smile tugging at only one corner of his lips. “Counting the non-polarized, politically-minded, glowering automatons longer than I’d prefer.” He set aside the glass completely and tugged the collar of the robe closer to his neck, fighting off the draft he suddenly became aware of. “Before I stepped into the role of informant among the Tal’Shiar on Qo’Nos, I lived a happy hermit’s life. After I returned from being drafted into the War, I took up a lecturing position again at the Imperial War College but found I lacked the same passion for my work. Society was growing increasingly polarized, and my students were growing increasingly narrow-minded despite my best efforts to keep politics out of the lab. So I resigned and retreated back to the islands. Dedicated myself to my hobbies and my parents, happily away from the idiocy of society until the idiocy of others landed on my doorstep. A sense of duty, and sheer annoyance, drove me to Qo’Nos where I’ve been up until my defection to your crew.”

Reika’s comment about the Star Empire’s penchant for isolation—though she hadn’t quite worded it that way—had Hirek snorting again. They were prevented from further discussion down that route with the announcement of judging to take place. He smiled at her invitation and nodded. He wasn’t the one doing the judging, but Hirek was curious about how others had depicted the scene. As they drew close, he could see how some had emphasized one muscle group over another; some were bold with colors, while others had played more with shadows and lighting. While Reika left to get another glass of wine, Hirek glanced over the rest of the paintings, keeping his amusement in check. Most of the pieces were marginally fair to mediocre, with at least two or three good ones, but for some, even squinting and tipping sideways, one couldn’t quite tell what the subject of the painting was.

Her question goaded another nonchalant shrug from the Romulan, “It is a rare moment to see how others think of feel about you on display. I believe empaths or those with telepathy would have a better description of the emotion, but intriguing is probably the best word I can come up with at the moment.” The master of ceremonies motioned for Hirek then. “Excuse me. While I’m not the judge, I am the one to give the award.”

The judging took place then, with Reika’s painting being a contender for the top ten but not making it into the top five. The winner, in the end, was a Betazoid man with a human girlfriend cooing at his side. Hirek’s smile of amusement was genuine as he placed the ribbon on the edge of canvas and shook the Betazoid’s hand. His earlier comment about empaths hadn’t been too far off in the end. The artists were then given the option of hanging their paintings in the temporary gallery adjacent to the arboretum café. With one last invitation to eat and drink to their hearts delight, the evening was brought to a soft close. Most of the couples continued to linger about, though some began to cart their paintings away—to be hidden in a closet or displayed yet to be determined. Easily moving through the dispersing crowd, Hirek returned to Reika’s side.

“I certainly hope this encounter hasn’t scarred you for life, Reika.” He winked, giving the first verbal indication of his awareness of her discomfort. Nodding toward her painting, his smile deepened, “What are you going to do with the painting?”

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

Reply #10
[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz

No.  It hasn’t scarred me - for today or for life,” she laughed lightly playing her part.  “Compared to being frozen and thawed, this,” she looked around the festivities, “this is nothing.”  She took a long slow sip of the pale pink liquid in the glass.  More than the first, this second glass of wine warmed her, relaxed her, lowered her guard, and brought a tint of purple to her cheeks.

As to what I’m going to do with the picture, I’m sure at some point it will be worth something.  The great Hirek Tamin … Tram …Tamine … Aww hell, you know your own last name."  Her frustration at having been caught off guard earlier when they had called his name  - and consequently not remembering it now, showed only by a momentary glint in her eye and twirk of her lip which was gone as quickly as it had come.  "But it will be worth something someday, so I’m sure I’ll hang onto it.

She turned to face her picture, raising her pinkie finger to trace different parts of the picture seeing the imperfections and her lack of skill with some of the techniques.  “People were never my strong suit.  I’ve always preferred nature, but as far as portraits go - and rushed portraits at that, it’s not that bad.  It’s accurate enough to pick you out of a lineup,” she chuckled again.

But now her eyes swept across the room, and she felt more than saw something else.  In many places that her head shifted, two people leaned together.  Some talked conspiratorily.  Some walked together, fingers laced around fingers.  For others, one sat upon the other’s lap with arms wrapped around the other person.  Some even stole kisses in a corner or behind an easel.  She saw the actions, but whether because of the second cup of wine or because she still felt ill at ease after just being thawed, or because it was true - she felt alone - there was an emptiness in the recesses of her heart which at that moment she felt rather keenly.

Blue fingers rotated the glass, and azure eyes glanced down into it as if she were asking it a question and reading the answer in the swirls of the soft rose-colored currents.  Nodding once, she poured more of the liquid between her lips, turning to Hirek.  “Walk with me back to my quarters?” she asked, not lifting her eyes to his.  “You can carry your portrait for me,” she grinned teasingly, this time looking up and meeting his eyes.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #11
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Hirek picked up the painting with ease and gestured for Reika to lead the way back to her quarters. While he was well aware of his many faults, listening was not one of them; rather, being a good listener was one of his merits. A Romulan who couldn’t listen, be it with their ears or their mind, was a dead Romulan, and Hirek was a survivor at heart. He could sense Reika’s loneliness, read in her various ticks and gestures that she had a strong awareness of others—perhaps a misaligned sense of how others perceived her even. But the whys and hows of this, Hirek didn’t know, and he wasn’t the type to press to know. Asking probing questions directly also often led to greater problems on Romulus, and Hirek was a problem solver not a problem starter. Or, at least, he certainly tried to be. But creating problems was one of his faults.

Only as they moved away from the group, still intent on socializing and gaping at one another’s paintings, did Hirek speak up again.

“tr’Aimne. It is my clan name. I will presume your ignorance,” Hirek smirked at Reika, “and explain a bit about Romulan names. It differs from certain elements of Andorian naming trends, at least from my preliminary studies of Andorian culture since coming aboard the ship. Hirek is, as you’d guess, my given name, and tr’Aimne is the clan name I mentioned. Between those two names would actually by three other names. The locative name of where I was born, a name that only close family may know of, and yet another name that only I will ever know and may choose to reveal to my mate, should I have one. But, it is far simpler merely to go by my given and clan name among non-Romulans. And it seems the clan name may be difficult for some already.” He gave Reika a playful wink as they journeyed them from the arboretum into the ship’s corridors.

[ Corridor ]

The drastic difference between the green of the arboretum and the sterile colors of the corridors was jarring. Still, unless the captain approved Hirek’s preference to redecorate each ship deck according to the colors and textures of the various Federation member planets, it would continue to be in this lifeless generic state. Reflecting on her earlier comments, Hirek shifted his grip on the painting, moving it so the artwork would be on the outside, readily seen by any passersby, as he drew Reika’s attention back to her stated preferences in art.

“I created a holographic simulation of my home islands with Lieutenant Commander Pierce some time back. If you’re needing new inspiration for landscapes, I will shamelessly suggest a visit to the program.” Hirek grinned at a young man as he walked past, winking when the man hesitated to take a full view of the portrait once he stood parallel to Hirek. The man continued on his way with red cheeks and a downcast gaze. Hirek returned his gaze to Reika then, shifting his tone of voice from mirth to meaning when he next spoke, “I’ve met only a few members of the crew who were recently ‘thawed,’ and of those, quite a number expressed shock and anxiety when going over the present crew roster. Did you lose many comrades during your stasis?”

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

Reply #12
[Lt Reika Sh’laan] Arboretum | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika listened as she wove her way around the people in the still mostly full arboretum.  Given name. Makes sense.  Clan name.  Sure.  Location-based name - interesting.  Close family name - Maybe like a family nickname?  One that only close family knew?  But that last one truly surprised her - A name that only he knew - and maybe shared with a spouse.  Reika had no concept of anything like that.  Did he give it to himself? she wondered.

Reika answered as they turned into the corridor. “I can see why it’s easiest just to go by the two-name convention since many species have given names and family names.  I had never known that Romulans had a total of five names - and one only known to yourself?  That is a concept beyond any I’ve ever heard.”

She listened as he offered her the use of his holodeck program, and Reika’s gate paused mid-stride just for a fleeting moment as Hirek offered it for her use with the potential of it being a landscape inspiration for a future painting.  The description of the islands that he had given earlier had intrigued her and something lush and tropical definitely sounded tempting.  She walked on toward the turbolift for a few seconds before answering, “I think I’d enjoy that, and at the moment, it looks like I have plenty of free time on my hands.  It will be a pleasant way to pass my after-duty hours."

Hirek seemed to be enjoying himself, showing off his portrait, and Reika turned her head away the opposite direction hiding her grin.  
 But it didn’t take long for the Romulan's demeanor to shift again, and he spoke of people he had known who had been in stasis. 

By that time they reached the Turbolift.  While they waited, the Andorian took a moment to gather her thoughts.  There were so many different sentiments, conjectures, and feelings since she had been removed from stasis and that multitude of thoughts was so scattered that gathering them was necessary.  More than that, how much did she really want to share with Hirek.  She didn’t know him - at all.  Stealing a sideways glance at him, she was reminded that her isolationist tendencies during her first go-round on the Theurgy is what got her where she was.  And the ship was big enough, she wouldn’t likely see him often anyway.  What would be the harm in being honest?

After a moment’s deliberation, “Yes, and no,” was her answer.  The way she drew out the ‘no,’ however, made it was obvious she had more to say.  But at that moment the turbolift arrived.

She stepped inside and ordered it to “Vector 3 deck 12.”  As the turbolift started out, she turned to Hirek.  “Many people that I knew are no longer around.  Sh’Zenne, Chambers, and Halliwell from OPS,  Callahan, Covington, Tiran, Kae, Song, Zeshryr …”  Her voice trailed off.  “Those are the ones I can think of off of the top of my head.  And as I’ve tried not to think about it over the last few days, I’ve stumbled across a bunch of other names that aren’t coming to mind at the moment."

But the truth of the matter is that I haven’t really lost anyone - which I’m coming to understand is even sadder,” she said looking sideways at him again.  But once again the turbolift stopped as she was mid-sentence.  She let out a puff of air that almost sounded like a swallowed yet forceful sigh as she started down the corridor toward her quarters.  “Here, my first time, on the Theurgy, I never let anyone close enough to really lose someone.  Sure people I know are gone - either having left or having died.  People I should have known better.”  As they reached her quarters, she keyed in her access code and stepped inside uttering, “Computer, lights.

The room was nothing more than a standard officer's quarters.  Two crates were sitting off to the side of the couch.  There was nothing on the shelves or any personal affects out yet.  It was about as ‘plain’ a quarters as possible.

Feel free to put that down anywhere you’d like,” she said slipping out of her shoes and making her way just inside the bedroom door, so she could put them away properly.  Not being gone for more than two seconds, she returned, but leaned against the doorframe she had just re-entered through..  “You’re welcome to have a seat if you’d like,” she motioned to the couch which was clear.  “And I’m happy to get you something to drink if you’re staying for a bit.

Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #13
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Deck 20 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

The Andorian woman walking beside him was quite unlike the other Andorians Hirek had gradually become acquainted with on the ship. And, in fact, each of them had also been their own unique rendition of the species. Reika was not the only one with a sense of melancholy hanging about her shoulders like a cloak for personal comfort; Hirek recalled the more subdued nature of the Andorian diplomat on the culinary excursion then smiled as he also remembered Zark, the blue hellion who’d nearly killed Madsen in her efforts to save the CDO from her own inebriated self—again, thanks to the combat medic’s ministrations. Hirek couldn’t help but feel curious if on a generalized scale, Andorians drifted more toward the Zark end or the Nysari and Reika. An entire planet of Zark’s could prove…interesting to say the least.

As Reika walked Hirek, proverbially and literally, through the corridors of her past life on the ship, he found some similarities between her present status and his own.

“Whenever I was stationed on a ship, I did my duties but never fraternized with the crew. Except when a superior officer solicited sexual favors from me, and then I had no choice but to comply.” Hirek shrugged, far from exaggerating but making no effort to insist on the credibility of his story with emphatic expressions or gestures. “My closest ‘friends,’ if you could call them such, have always been kin, and the majority of them resided on the Uluma Islands. And that trend is fairly the norm among Romulan clan groups. Even in marriage, especially the triadic marriage practices of the capital cities, there is rarely the warmth I’ve seen readily displayed between crewmates on this ship.”

Leaving him standing just inside the door to her quarters, Reika disappeared into her bedroom just long enough for Hirek to position the portrait against the wall, angled so Reika could see it both when she entered her quarters and when she first came out of her bedroom. Hirek smirked to himself, taking one last look at the painting before letting his eyes flick over the spartan decorations in her quarters. He noted the crates about the time she returned, Hirek moving his gaze to note her casual posture against the doorframe as she offered to get him a drink.

“If you don’t mind the presumption of using your replicator, I could also offer you one of my recipes for a tea blend that resembles a favorite from my home.” Hirek nodded toward the crates and addressed their presence, along with the lack of decorations, “Going into stasis interrupted your unpacking, or was it packing?”

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

Reply #14
[Lt Reika Sh’laan]  Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn @Ellen Fitz

As Reika stepped back into the doorway between her bedroom and the livingroom, she saw that Hirek had positioned her painting so that he, in all his glory, was in full view from her position.  She laughed lightly.  This Romulan was certainly a study in dichotomy.  On one hand, he seemed quite serious.  On the other hand, he didn’t seem to take himself seriously.  "I'm glad you seem keen on the painting.  "You sure that you don't want it for your own quarters?  I'm sure we could scan and replicate a duplicate."

But despite the fact that she offered to get him a drink, he proposed to returned the favor.  She thought about it for a moment, and given her determination to do things differently this time, she nodded, “Sure.  I’ll be happy to try one of your blends of tea.  What sets this variety of tea apart?” she asked.

But before he answered, he gestured to the crates and currently bleak surroundings posing a query about them.  “Actually,” she said, crossing her arms across her chest.  "When I went on ice, they packed everything I had away.  When I worked in OPS before the incident which landed me in stasis.  If someone were injured and placed on ice, we packed all of their belongings up.  We didn’t know if we’d need the quarters and wanted to make sure that nothing that had been stored in the quarters went bad or in the case of a pet, that it didn’t die.

So this is simply protocol.” the Andorian continued. “If you get frozen, they pack your stuff up.  I’ve just managed to avoid unpacking yet.  Instead, I’ve just replicated what I needed to this point.  I’m sure I’ll get around to decorating the shelves sooner or later, but there’s no rush to it.

Reika crossed to the couch and took a seat waiting for Hirek to order their drinks since she had no idea what kind of tea he had in mind for them or her.  She watched him from her vantage point.  He still had the red robe with gold trim around the edges on - the one that had been given to him by the Master of Ceremonies - and as far as she observed, he had left the rest of his clothes in the arboretum, but she wasn’t about to offer to go back and get them for him. 

As she continued to watch the older man, she asked herself, what she wanted from the evening.  To this point it had been nothing but a shared ruse.  Before she was frozen, she would never have brought Hirek back to her quarters.  She likely wouldn’t have stayed once she understood that the event was for couples, and she most certainly would have been aware of what was going on on the ship before hand.  So nothing about this night tonight would have happened before she went into Stasis, but she wasn’t living before her stint frozen.  She was living now, and what did she want.  Some companionship, maybe something more.  So she watched and observed little things about the Romulan as he ordered the tea and turned to face her.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #15
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

“This tea assists in sleep but also has a warming quality, starting with your lips and traveling along your tongue and to your belly. Some have equated it to a thrumming warmth, others a tickle, but it really just depends on your physiology. And since I don’t have the exact herbs required to make it to the strength or quality I prefer from home, this hardly represents how vibrant the flavors can be.” Hirek spoke over his shoulder as he worked at her replicator. “I’ve been studying the ship’s stores for herbs and resources for making tea blends or ale blends if the captain ever approves my still design for my quarters, so while I’ve found a fairly close blend, it still isn’t quite the same.”

With two saucers holding the steaming amber liquid with orange swirls undulating through it, Hirek carefully approached the couch where Reika had settled herself. The primarily floral scent of the tea had spiced undertones with a hint of pungent earthy herbal scents wafting off the surface. Hirek had learned that humans found the taste similar to a citrusy pepper with a cream-like flavor, enhancing its natural sweetness. He was curious how an Andorian palate would respond. After setting her tea on the table before her, Hirek settled on the other end of the couch.

“I learned about an old Terran tradition of leaving what they call a ‘calling card’ with individuals they would like to meet with later in the day or week. I wonder if I should replicate the portrait,” his gaze moved from the tea back to the painting as he spoke with a neutral tone, “and turn it into calling cards to leave with our crewmates. What do you think?”

Looking back to Reika, Hirek winked before bringing the tea to his lips and giving a tentative sip. The flavor was close enough to frustrate him, hinting at what he could not enjoy until they dealt with this mess, but it was likely pleasant enough to someone who didn’t know the true flavors he was aiming for. Looking back to the crates as he took another sip, Hirek nodded at her earlier explanation.

“I am growing fond of the ship’s replicators, I must say. I didn’t come aboard with much of anything except the soiled clothing on my back, and while I told the captain, I was comfortable in my own skin, he made sure I knew how to work the machines to prevent cultural exchange issues.” Shifting his mass around to settle more comfortably against the cushions, Hirek sighed. “Romulan ships are far from comfortable and do not have the luxuries of personal replicators. Everything is carefully and heavily monitored and tracked and, depending on your rank, is what you are allowed access to and is part of what determines the ease of your time aboard the ship. Things were only marginally more ‘bohemian’ at the College, but I only found freedom on the Islands, among my kin.” Glancing over to Reika and nodding towards the steaming liquid, “What are your thoughts?”

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

Reply #16
[Lt Reika Sh’laan]  Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika listened as Hirek touted the benefits of this blend of tea.  She had to grin at his nonchalant attitude about designing his own quarters to blend teas and likely distill other beverages based on what he said earlier in the evening.   It was very un-Starfleet of him - and maybe that was part of his allure.  He had no inhibitions, whether it was oiling every inch of himself up for all to see or asking for quarters to be remanufactured to his specifications so that he could enjoy his pastimes more. 

Comparing replicated food with grown food isn’t quite the same either, but it’s a close approximation,  While your refined palate may know the difference, I’m sure it will be minute,” the Andorian said, picking up the cup and saucer that the Romulan set on the table in front of her.  First, he held it under her nose noting the different fragrances from sweet to pungent.  “It smells delectable.”  Then, taking a sip, she held the warm liquid in her mouth momentarily trying to tease out its flavors before swallowing. 

Hirek was right, it created almost a buzz in her mouth and down her esophagus as she swallowed and continued down into her stomach.  “The flavors … I wouldn’t have ever put them together, but they blend so well.  And it is warming as it goes down.  What’s it called, as I think it’s something I’d enjoy again.

And as Hirek named the blend, Reika took a mental note of it for future consumption.  It both tasted and felt incredibly pleasant in a way that she had not before experienced when it came to non-alcoholic concoctions.

But a moment later, he had changed the subject, alluding to the picture leaning against the wall “A calling card?” Reika echoed taking a moment to try to pull the phrase out from one of the crannies in a corner of her mind.  Then finally putting it together with what she thought she heard of it, she asked, “You mean that tradition of leaving something to let people know that it was you that visited in the case that they aren’t home?”  And with that, her face went from a nice azure hue to a sky blue - an Andorian’s version of blanching.

She thought for a moment how to diplomatically say what she was thinking.  “Hirek,” he paused and pursed her lips, having started to speak before she had really formulated what she wanted to say.  “I think … people may be intimidated by such a convention.  First off, they may not even know why an article such as a calling card was left.  Secondly, my artwork wasn’t even good enough to warrant top five.  Thirdly … Um … well …”  Spit it out Reika!  “I think that your physique may … intimidate the recipients, and unless you wish them to believe that you were propositioning them for a physically pleasurable evening, it …” And here her tone sent up a few pitches, “might not be a wise idea?

But once again, Hirek turned the conversation onto another topic.  This time - the difference between Romulan Culture and that of Starfleet.  But when she heard his explanation of what the Captain had said about Hirek walking around naked and the phrase that the Captain had used, Reika latched onto it.  When asked about her thoughts, her non-sequiter was, “Cultural issues.”  Then looking over at him for a moment, she rolled her eyes at herself.  “That’s what I was trying to get at a moment ago in regards to your calling card.  It’s misinterpretation might cause ‘cultural issues.'

But realizing that he had indicated the tea in her hand once again when asking of her thoughts and not asked her thoughts regarding anything else.  She nodded and smiled, looking down into her cup and then raising her eyes to him again.  “Well, I must have liked it well enough,” she lifted her demitasse and showed him the empty bottom.  “It’s gone.  And I feel much more relaxed than I had earlier,” she said, tilting her head looking at him out of the corner of her eye.  Grabbing the neckline of her shirt she pulled it in and out a few times as well.  “Is it me, or is it beginning to get a little hot in here.”  In the last few moments, her face had transformed from it’s earlier shade of sky blue into something almost akin to lilac, and beads of perspiration began to form on her face.  “Do you know if an Andorian has ever consumed this before?” she asked.  Her heart began to speed up slightly.

She took a steadying breath.  Is it the drink? The man?  A combination of the two?  Or something completely else?
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #17
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3| USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Hirek chuckled at Reika’s response to his calling card jest. It seemed she was a literal thinker, despite her artistic tendencies. She took his words and meaning at surface level, which was endearing only as she was not Romulan. A Romulan who did the same thing would be dead very quickly. When Reika finally commented on his “physique,” Hirek raised an eyebrow. So she HAD noticed certain details, and HAD found him marginally attractive. Her tugging at clothing and increasingly flushed state was not lost on Hirek. The other eyebrow rose to join the first, finding her body’s response to the tea fascinating.

“The effects of the tea happen in stages. One of the first stage's side effects is to initially increase blood flow to all the appendages and organs, causing a flushed and,” he didn’t fight the smirk, “semi-aroused state. After this initial phase, the chemical reaction of the tea alters, building into a relaxed euphoria, leading the muscles in the body to feel as if you’ve undergone a massage or meditation session. The last stage is akin to a light inebriation but without alcohol, lowering inhibitions, increasing relaxation, and enhancing your senses' receptors.” Hirek set his likewise empty cup on the table and leaned against the cushions to study Reika more carefully, “It seems you’re in the first stage. And no, I’ve never shared this with an Andorian before. The only other Andorion onboard I’m acquainted with would likely pour the tea over my head if I offered it to her out of a sense of loyalty to her friend who didn’t like being kidnapped by my false comrades on Qo’Nos and held as collateral to ensure passage off the planet.”

Hirek returned to the replicator and ordered a glass of cool water, explaining in a little more detail how he’d been placed among the Tal’Shiar operatives as a double agent, feeding information to Starfleet Intelligence, and had been forced to hold the chief diplomat hostage to maintain his cover, until they’d both been inadvertently rescued by Madsen’s peers. For the time being, Hirek left out the part that he’d intentionally overloaded Madsen’s weapon so they both received a stunning shock, sending them into the murky river and allowing what Tal’Shiar operatives who survived the encounter to believe he’d been killed, protecting his family from the consequences of his defection.

Coming back to Reika’s side, Hirek handed her the water and glanced toward her bedroom, “I do not think there any cause for worry, as your body is undergoing the expected changes for the tea.” Hirek returned his gaze to study Reika’s complexion, “I am also experiencing these same effects, though my body processes the chemicals differently.” He pointed toward the light flush on his cheeks with a carefree smile. He paused a moment before lowering his hand back to his side. Crouching next to the couch, making himself at eye level, Hirek tipped his chin upward to point to her forehead, “However, do you wish me to fetch you a cloth? Or assist you to your bed so you can lie more comfortably?”

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

Reply #18
[Lt Reika Sh’laan]  Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika lifted her hands to her cheeks.  Flushed was an understatement to how she felt. After her efforts to cool herself by pulling her shirt in and out, the Andorian grasped her shirt by the hem and pulled it off over her head, then used it to fan herself.   By removing her shirt, it became obvious that the flush she was feeling was not contained just to her face.  Her shoulders, chest, and torso all adopted a purplish hue - the same one that colored her cheeks.  And despite the fact that her bra remained firmly in place, Hirek’s statement about being aroused was easily identified as hardened nipples showed clearly through the fabric.

You do realize that with Andorian physiology having originated on an ice planet that something like this concoction could have undue side effects on us?  What would simply bring a tint to a human or Trill or Romulan might cause us a more extreme reaction."  Her chest began to heave more as her breathing sped up.  She reclined against the couch - not in ease - but as she tried to breathe more freely.  One blue leg ran up and down the other, and a blue hand moved from fanning her face and lowered to begin to fan her fluttering chest with her shirt until Hirek held out a glass of water for her. 

She sat up slightly, dropped her shirt into her lap, and practically grabbed the glass held out to her.  She gulped most of the liquid down, but the last few teaspoons down her chest, hoping to cool herself off as her huffed breaths continued. 

As Hirek crouched down, the robe that had been tied into place around his waist slid apart, exposing one of his thighs about halfway up.   “However, do you wish me to fetch you a cloth? Or assist you to your bed so you can lie more comfortably?”

Yes,” she breathed out the word as she leaned forward, crossing her forearms across her thighs as her type of gaze transfigured before the Romulan’s eyes.  Her voice dropped lower and took on sultry tones.  She grinned sensuously at him. “I definitely think you should help me to bed, but I don't believe it will simply be to lie more comfortably,” she said, running a finger along his chin and scooting forward so that her knees brushed against the side of his exposed thigh.  Sliding a hand from his knee up his leg, helping the robe split a little further.  “Help me up?” she asked in mock innocence.  “I mean, you’re the one who did this to me, I think you’re the one to fix this for me.  Don’t you?
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #19
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Actively fighting the urge to smile in response to her dire straits, Hirek instead cleared his throat and put on a more neutral expression. He was skilled enough in medicine to track when or if her body was going to need actual medical attention and so far, she wasn’t exhibiting signs of distress. Extreme sensitivity to the chemical compounds of the tea blend, yes. Actual harmful distress? Nothing aside from the potential for embarrassment and wounded pride so far. In response to her huffed out frustration, Hirek chuckled.

“You do flush such a pleasant purple, I must say.” He let his gaze roam over the contours of her body for a moment, letting Reika note the genuine appreciation in his voice and gaze. “Would you like a verbal apology for the lack of warning? Or would something more action-oriented suit your tastes?”

When her voice dipped an octave and words slurred ever so slightly as she ran a single digit along his chin, Hirek answered his own question. Action-oriented, it would be then. He raised both his eyebrows, a smile pulling upwards, as Reika ran her palms up the exposed skin of his thigh, a feigned demure stature overtaking the Andorian as she felt the effects of the tea more fully with each passing moment. Hirek knew that given enough time, and neutral water, the “worst” of the arousal would pass—granted, if Reika had a good metabolism, which he presumed she did given her physique. Considering how skittish she’d been earlier when not under the influence of the tea, Hirek felt it wise not to fall into her “clutches” too readily. He already had to deal with the wrath of one Andorian female; best to keep this one less murderous upon seeing him.

“As the lady wishes,” Hirek gave Reika little warning before he surged forward and grasped her around the waist, hoisting the woman over her shoulder and effortlessly carrying her squirming body to her bedroom. The toss he gave her body then was calculated with just enough force to surprise her, but not so much that she would miss the bed entirely and land on the floor. Once she lay on the bed, Hirek retreated from the room again, “Divest yourself of as much clothing as you like, I’ll be right back. Your earlier comments inspired me.”

Once more, using the replicator, Hirek called for a pitcher of water, a bowl of ice, and a dry cloth. Pausing by the couch, he snagged the empty glass and placed it on the tray with the other items before moving back into Reika’s bedroom. The sight that greeted him brought a lecherous grin to the Romulan’s face as he let out a pleased sigh.

“Are you quite ready for me to fix your problem?” He asked as he approached the bed and placed the tray on the bedside table, standing out of her reach yet still close enough to track how her body continued to respond to the tea.

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

Reply #20
[Lt Reika Sh’laan]  Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn @Ellen Fitz

At any other point in her life had someone looked at her the way that Hirek did and commented on something even as innocuous as her coloration, it would have caused a deeper blush.  But this time she didn’t blush further, instead a cheshire grin almost imperceptibly slowly wound her way onto her face.  She tipped her chin, her eyes narrowed and sparkled, and she bit at the inside corner of her lip, while her hands grasped her at her shirt.

And almost without warning she was hoisted over a shoulder.  She squealed with glee, and using her shirt, she swatted at the area of Hirek’s backside while she wriggled in his arms still giggling.  But then she felt her body lunge backward and she fell into a heap on the bed.

Divest yourself of as much clothing as you like, I’ll be right back.  Your earlier comments inspired me.

Her breathing deepened even more as she finally extracted herself from her bra tossing it aside.  “Oh, so much better,” she gasped.  Then she tried to fumble at the button on her jeans and then once it was undone and the zipper down, she arched her blue back and shimmied out of her jeans and panties, folding one leg at a time up and disentangling her legs and feet from the fabric.  As they left her hand, Hirek reentered the room with a tray and walked over to her bedside table. 

She rolled over and on hands and knees crawled over to the edge of the bed where she lay on her side, cradling her head in her hand.  One knee bent with a foot planted in front of her opposite knee.  “Sooo ... much ... better,” the Andorian said wiggling her shoulders.  The smile was no longer there, but her lips were pursed and the tip of her tongue rested against the apex of her lips.

Are you quite ready for me to fix your problem?” the Romulan asked with a lacivious smirk.

Her tone low her register “So, Hirek,” she bit the tip of her tongue, “I just need to know how you are going to make me feel better.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #21
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

The clinical side of his brain fired as Hirek studied the beautiful blue form of an oh-so-deliciously nude Reika lying on her side like a Romulan goddess waiting for worship. Aside from the antennae and skin color, there were a few differences to note between Reika’s naked flesh and a Romulan’s. She had softer curves than most of the Romulan women he’d been with in the past, but these rounded curves invited closer inspection with fingers and tongue. And this was where the baser side of his brain fired, reminding Hirek of how much he enjoyed exploring the warm depths of a woman’s body and relished the feel of their softness rhythmically rocking against the fleshy steel of his body.

Hirek’s lips pulled upward in a broad smile at Reika’s tone of voice. Lightly running a single digit between her shoulder blades, Hirek’s smile shifted in nature, returning once more to one more predatory. He wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up having to use the rope holding his robe closed before this “treatment” was over. In fact, he rather hoped he would have to, but for the time being, Hirek merely sat on the edge of the bed, her back parallel to his position, and placed the tray on the bedside stand.

“Lay on your back and close your eyes,” his finger continued its downward trail, stopping just shy of the crack between the rounded mounds of her ass.

Her unbeguiling movements to comply reminded Hirek of her youth and naivety, further solidifying in his mind that his choice of “treatment” was probably for the best, even if it didn’t quite suit her desires at this present moment. Once she was fully settled on her back, chest rising and falling in panted breaths due to body heat and arousal, Hirek poured water over the dry cloth, with the residual droplets noisily falling into the bowl of ice. He watched how she responded to the sounds and how her antennae moved as an external sensor so aptly alien to his own body. Careful not to press his body against hers, inciting a premature response from the woman, Hirek leaned forward and drew the folded cloth lightly over her forehead before tracing it down her temples and over her cheeks. He pulled it back occasionally to air it out and refold it, keeping the damp rag cool enough to alleviate some of her discomforts. Only after he bathed her face entirely with methodical, gentle caresses, Hirek laid the cloth across her forehead, folded so that a layer also lay over her eyes in case she wanted to open them later and spoil them the fun.

“Be a good girl,” Hirek purred to the Andorian as he reached for the ice cubes, “and lay very still.” The first ice cube was placed in the triangle divet at the bottom of her throat where her clavicle came together. “And keep your eyes closed.” The second ice cube was placed just above her belly button, and the third just above her mons pubis.

As Hirek left these to melt and pool, he took a fourth ice cube and drew it down the edge of her neck. He continued the movement across her shoulder and down her upper arm and on to her elbow, stopping only when he had to switch out for another ice cube to finish the trail over her forearm, the back of her hand, and down her middle finger. He repeated the trail on the anterior side of her hand and arm, a melodic tune from his home rumbling from his chest as he hummed. Hirek’s smile broadened at Reika’s reaction when the ice cube entered her armpit area. He clicked his tongue against his teeth and shook his head.

“Don’t be naughty, Reika,” he lightly swatted the side of her rear, quickly replacing the ice cubes that her squirming had dislodged. “Good girls get rewards. Bad girls get punished.”

He was patient in his work, just as he was thorough. Though he primarily hummed, more than once, the hum turned into soft singing as both arms were looked after, legs too—though he intentionally did NOT go all the way up her inner thighs. As each of the three stationary ice cubes melted, Hirek replaced them, dipping the cloth into the melted ice water of the bowl every so often as well. He saved her breasts for after he finished her appendages, watching with delight as she responded to the cold cube being trailed up the edge of her breast and briefly held against her nipple, the beaded point immediate and oh-so tempting.

Drawing in a breath, Hirek licked his lips and swallowed. He was not unaffected in all this. His erection was hot and heavy, throbbing against his body as he continued to see to Reika’s needs. But he found pleasure in giving pleasure and had learned from experience that there was vulnerability and danger in presuming that his partner would be remotely interested in seeing to his pleasure in the same session. He’d entered this encounter intending to ensure her physical comfort and potentially her sexual satisfaction as well, but with no demand for his own release. It was all about the process, not just the completion.

Only a few ice cubes were left, but for what he intended next, Hirek wasn’t terribly worried. First, he pulled the cloth away from her face for another dip in the ice water, wringing it out over her chest and watching with rapt attention as the water droplets rolled in all directions over the beautiful azure color of her skin. Replacing it over her forehead and eyes, Hirek grabbed an ice cube in hand as he stood from the bed.

“You’ve been a very good girl, Reika,” Hirek knelt on the bed between her ankles, watching how she responded to his change of position though he had yet to touch her, “remember what I said about good girls?” He touched the ice cube to the inside of one ankle, trailing it up her skin to her knee as he shifted his body closer. “Yes,” he pulled the ice cube away from one leg, leaning to place his lips against the cold skin where it’d once been while he move the cube over to her other leg, touching it against the sensitive skin just above her knee, “they get rewards.”

Hirek continued to alternate the warmth of his lips and the light touch of his tongue's velvet with that of the hardened ice as he journeyed ever northward. He stopped only once he was settled between her legs, kneeling comfortably. Hirek ran the ice cube over the edges of her labia, his smile languid as the cube melted faster now that it was so close to her intimate heat. Even if Andorians boasted a lower body temperature than Romulans, Reika was still hotter here than elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, it took only one and a half rounds of the cube over her folds before the ice cube was gone completely.

He gave her a millisecond to adjust before he leaned forward and drew the flat of his tongue over the length of her slit, curling it up only once he felt the nub of her clit. His warm hands reached under her legs, fingers wrapping over her hips as he anchored her in place for further attention. Gaze moving up the length of her body, Hirek repeated the same licking movement, spending a longer time prodding her clit with the tip of his tongue this time. Pressing both of his lips against her sex, he suckled her nub, enjoying the taste of her juices as her body responded to him.

Pulling away, Hirek fanned his fingers back and forth over her skin, “Do you want more, Reika?”

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

Reply #22
[Lt Reika Sh’laan]  Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika squirmed her shoulder blades and hips as Hirek trailed his finger down the center of her back, but as he reached the divot just about her rump, she wriggled mercilessly.  That was one of the most sensitive spots on her entire body - and while she would never verbally divulge that fact, her movements may as well have shouted loud enough for the whole ship to hear.

Her shoulder blades were still shivering from waves of heat that the motions of his finger on her lower spine caused when the Andorian heard Hirek’s command, “Lay on your back and close your eyes.

It was an easy position adjustment despite the fast heaving motions of her chest.  She found that all she could do at that moment was comply.  With the intense heat and prurience that she was experiencing, everything else was inconsequential.  She needed relief from both maladies and Hirek was offering to administer the antidotes.  With one last look at his face, she closed her eyes and lay her head straight back.  Her hands at her sides, her fingers were moving in patterns almost as if they were playing arpeggios on a piano as her mind began to process the sites that she had seen now that her eyes were closed.

The last glance she had taken at Hirek hadn’t fully registered with her as her body cried out for relief from the effects of the tea he had given her.  But now that one of her senses was cut off, she was able to process previous sights and current sounds, and smells more fully.  The last sight Reika had taken in before she closed her icy orbs was the look in Hirek’s eyes.  It wasn’t a tender, caring look.  It registered with Reika as hedonistic, wanton, gratuitous.  But even as her mind recognized and acknowledged those things, her body was powerless to choose anything else.  She had never felt this sweltering before.  Her body also had never needed relief from the level of sexual tension that she was experiencing.  Both of which informed her extreme need to comply - there was no other options in her mind.  It was comply or dissolve into oblivion as the tea continued to disentangle her from any past, present, or future vestiges of reality while only allowing her to think about two intertwined things both relating to relief.

Then there was the water.  The tinkling of the drops as they hit the cloth and either were absorbed or rolled off into the ice.  ‘Oh…ice!  I could take a bath in it, plunge my head into it. Her body couldn’t contain her need and it squirmed - just like her antenna - it writhed in desire and need.  Fingers twirled into the bedspread, toes curled and unfurled over and over.  While her legs were extended, her straightened and flexed.  Anything - anything to relieve her mind and body of its burden. 

Finally, a damp cloth extended across her forehead, bringing a marginal relief from the heat coursing through her veins.  Every centimeter that the cloth traversed brought more and more relief.  Her huffing breaths began to abate just the slightest margin, her flushed cheeks changed from almost a plum shade to closer to lilac.

Despite the single layer of towel over her eyes, she opened them to see what Hirek was about to do - when he placed the first ice cube.  It’s chill continued to minister minute relief, and seeing Hirek pick up another ice cube, she almost held her breath in anticipation until she heard, “And keep your eyes closed.

But she didn’t fight.  He was bringing her relief and again she had no alternative but to comply - her need still so burdensome.  One at a time, Reika reveled in the relief that the three cubes began to bring.  Then as she tried to quiet the extremities of her body, she simply focused her attention on the ice. 

At first, the cubes were replaced with more regularity.  But then a fourth moving cube was introduced, and it felt wonderful as it glided across her cerulean body, across shoulders down arms, even to the tips of fingers, but when it retraced its steps and came to her armpit, somehow the sensation caught her by surprised and she squirmed, earning her a verbal chastisement and slap on the side of her butt cheek.

Don’t be naughty, Reika.  Good girls get rewards.  Bad girls get punished.

Was that slap a reward or punishment?’ Reika wasn’t quite sure, but she knew that she felt very much alive in a way that she hadn’t before.  Methodical, soothing, relaxing.  With every new ice cube, her heartrate slowed another fraction.  But as Hirek’s attentions continued meeting one of her needs, she became very aware of the second need which was growing with each melting ice cube dragged across her skin.  And when his attention finally focused on her breasts, there was a sharp intake of breath from the blue body, and she expected to begin to feel relief - but her need for fulfillment of her sexual tension only heightened.  Pressing her eyelids together, she wished to feel lips around the protruding nub of skin that Hirek had drawn out with the ice.  She tried so hard not to wriggle - with everything in her.  She needed release - and she feared if she moved that it would be denied her.  The fear started small, but continued to grow as her breasts were tended without the feel of any skin on them.  Just the ice and trailed water.

She drew in a ragged breath when Hirek once again removed the cloth from her forehead and dipped it into the wonderfully cool ice water.  This time, instead of hearing the water fall back into the basin from which it came, it the excess was rung out and allowed to cascade across each of breasts, from the peaks to the valley between.  And while it, again, felt amazing, her breaths were crescendoing to a frenetic pace as her body physically reacted to her need for and fear that she would not be aided in the release of this building sexual tension.

She gasped - almost in fear - before she quickly reigned herself in as she felt Hirek leave her side where he had been seated for the entire process so far.  Instead she focused all of her senses on where he was going and what was going to happen next.

And once again she heard his voice.  “You’ve been a very good girl, Reika.  Remember what I said about good girls?” Reika felt the bed become concave between her ankles, and she understood that Hirek had taken up a new perch there.

Y-y-yes,” she finally managed in answer to his question.  Her heart almost despaired as she once again felt ice touch the inside of one ankle and trail up to her knee, but then she felt lips replace the ice, and she blew out a quick puff of air…Is this it? she asked herself.

Yes,” he replayed the motion on the inside of her other leg.  “They get rewards.”  And another touch of his lips.  Painfully slowly he worked his way up the inside of her legs, with each inch Hirek proceeded up the inside of her legs, they spread further and further apart.  She understood the new pattern - ice, then lips where the ice had been.  Repeating the process, ice and then tongue where the ice had been, so when he used an ice cube on her labia, she knew what was coming next and she was not disappointed as she felt his tongue widen out and drew the entire length of her folds - and then - just briefly, the tip of it circled around and over that breathtakingly sensitive nodule.  Then a pause and her breath drew in.  Was he going to stop?  Was that all she was going to get, but the answer arrived after a few seconds pause as he repeated his movements, this time focusing on her clit for longer first with his tongue and then with his lips.

A short, but needy moan escaped her lips.  She tried so hard to stay still, afraid that his efforts on her behalf would slow or halt, but with his lips puckering around that nub, she pressed into him, but as she did, he pulled away, though fanned the heat of her sexuality.  “Do you want more, Reika?

How can you even ask that?” she said, her hips now wriggling out of extreme need, while at the same time not able to move because he had her hips pinned to the bed.  Her eyes opened and she looked down at the Romulan, her eyes wide, her mouth open almost gasping for air.  “Hirek, don’t stop,”  She halted short of saying that she begged him not to stop.  She did not beg.  And while she didn’t beg, she wasn’t above a slight coercion.

And in his current position, she raised her knees and used them to squeeze his midsection and pull him slightly forward, closer to where she wanted him to be - where he needed to be to continue to bring her relief from the need that wouldn’t stop.  From the need that began to overwhelm her.  A low, pained growl escaped her mouth as the two were locked together.  She - because he pinned her to the bed.  He - because her knees squeezed him into place.

Smiling furtively at him, she asked, “So what’s it going to be, Hirek?

Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #23
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Dree

Reika’s efforts to secure him, in word and deed, brought a wry smile of amusement to Hirek’s lips. Her attempt at an ultimatum was likewise amusing but in an endearing fashion. Hirek did not intend to leave until she was well cared for and satiated, but her uncertainty had worked in both their favor. Not only were her nerves alight all the more so now with the rush of aggression she’d displayed in securing her knees against his sides, but she’d given him even greater assurance that his attentions were not being misinterpreted. Knowing that making someone like Reika beg would only bring negative repercussions in the future, Hirek returned his attention to bringing her pleasure without further delay.

While he kept one hand on her hip, shifting his body so his single arm could hook up and over her waist more comfortably while freeing his other hand, Hirek languidly traced the tip of his index finger along the sensitive lobes of her sex. His lips and tongue kept up a constant sucking, circular pressure on the nub of her clit. The room was filled with the sounds of her response and the occasional growl of delight emitted by Hirek himself, finding as much pleasure in giving Reika pleasure as if he’d been receiving it. As they’d not discussed it before—there’d been no reason to—Hirek didn’t know how long it had been since Reika had been intimate with someone. Pulling back from sucking at her clit long enough to press a moist kiss to the sensitive juncture between thigh and pelvis, Hirek watched her expression as he inserted his index finger into her wet warmth. He pumped his finger in and out slowly, drawing out the pleasure as she grew accustomed to the change when he inserted a second finger.

“I have no intention of stopping, Reika,” Hirek kissed her inner thigh, keeping up the rhythmic pumping of his fingers as he spoke, “at least not until you tell me to stop.”

His intentions made quite clear, Hirek turned his lips and tongue to her clit, subtly increasing the pressure and speed of his fingers as he continued the relentless drive to make her crash over the cliff of her climax.

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

Reply #24
[Lt Reika Sh’laan]  Lt. Sh'Laan's Quarters | Deck 12 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn @Ellen Fitz

Reika could count on one hand the number of sexual encounters - not partners - that she had during her time on the Theurgy.  And every time she had another encounter, she vowed it would be her last until she found one that understood her and needed her as much as she needed whomever it happened to be.  But this was different.  Whether only because she had the tea or because she had been frozen for so long or because her body had an internal timer that had registered as being up and in need, this rendezvous was what her body - though not her soul craved.

Consequently, Hirek’s tantalizing actions grew the urgency with which she needed the physical release. And when his lips and tongue began their ministrations on her clit, her mouth opened in a breathy moan.  But once again the Romulan stopped that particular action - though not the entirety of the treatment that he was administering as a remedy to the tea he had given her.  A softer, desirous moan broke free as his lips moved to the apex of her thighs, but as they did, she felt a finger slip within.  A loud sigh of relief.  She wanted to press against that lone finger, but she restrained herself.  She could feel his efforts building with mindnumbing slowness, but building nonetheless.  Then she felt a second finger as the girth that slipped inside at least doubled.   Short stacatto breaths escaped her mouth.

I have … no intention … of telling you… to stop, Hirek,”  she barely voiced.  All her efforts were exerted on controlling the overwhelming need, but as she did, once again his lips and tongue returned to their former post, and between his fingers and his lips, she was close…tantilizingly close, but she wanted to feel the pleasure that the act itself brought, so with everything in her she fought off the climax trying so desperately simply to revel in the sensations.

But a canoe can only paddle upstream for so long.  And no matter the amount of effort that she put into delaying the gratification, her mouth opened and a loud cry broke from midnight blue lips as her orgasm slammed throughout her entire body.  Her hands clenched into the sheets at her sides, her head drew back, her eyes pressed closed, her mouth - now silent - held itself open as she worked to breathe, her knees twitched, and her legs tensed all to be followed by a limpness in her muscles as her legs fell sideways apart as her body had to acknowledge that she had reached the zenith of climax and fell quickly over the apex to the stillness at the foot of the cliff.

After she regained a sliver of composure, she raised her head a minuscule measure and looked down her naked body at the Romulan still perched between her knees.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

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