Posted by Lieutenant Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) in Quarters: Captain
Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in Quarters: Captain
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) in Quarters: Captain
Posted by… suppressed (6) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Alex sat next to her and smiled. “I’m glad. The heat will go well with dinner. We are having lamb vindaloo, a dish from India on Earth, but with a Cochrane twist. My mother adds diced mangoes to her dish and the heat coupled with the sweet is amazing. I hope you like it.” and he leaned back and smiled at her. “I’m glad you are here. And if I am totally honest… I’m more glad than I expected to be. Which is no small feat considering how much I enjoyed our last evening together.”
’…I’m more glad than I expected to be…’ Language was a funny thing. That almost sounded like he thought he wouldn’t be happy about her coming over, but Zef realized that when Federation Standard wasn’t your native tongue, even slight nuances could mean major misunderstandings. Alex’s body language and easy manner let her know that he didn’t mean it negatively, so she let it go.
“Yes, that was one for the books—I believe the saying goes?” She smiled as the memory of that evening slid past the viewer in her mind. As always, she tempered her thoughts about what she and Alex were doing, with care. This was just supposed to be an easy going, physical and secret thing between them. She studied his profile and wondered if she could really keep it that way.
Alex chuckled and said “That it was. Definately one of my more… memorable… evenings, for certain.” and he took a sip of the wine. “So tell me…” and he stretched one arm around her so that it lay on the back of the couch, “… what do you like to do in your off-time? Any hobbies or anything? Or have you been so consumed with work and fending off over-zealous relatives that you have no down-time?” and he laughed softly.
“I’ve had the same hobby for most of my life. I’ve just honed my skills over the years and gotten better at it. There’s even a place in the market near my home that sells some my work.”
She watched him try to figure out what she might be talking about and then chuckled. “I micro carve art. It can be anything; jewelry, statues—tiny ones, religious items, fantasy creatures—whatever. It doesn’t take much room to do it so I have adapted one corner of my bedroom for it, and it helps me relax by concentrating on an inanimate object instead of my day to day life where I deal with so many emotional feelings from others.”
Leaning a little closer, Zef put her fingers behind one of her ears to angle the earring to a better position where Alex could see it. “I carved these out of animal bone.” The half inch square contained a star and a flower, surrounded with gold.
Alex leaned closer, his face a few scant inches from hers, and he reached up and brushed her fingers with his own as he looked at the piece. “They are absolutely beautiful, Zef…” and his gaze shifted from the earring to her eyes. “Stunning, even. I doubt I have seen many things more so.” and he looked from her eyes to her lips and back again. He grinned and then leaned back slowly and said “I have to check on dinner. If I continue down this particular path… we may never eat.” But his fingers remained on hers.
Tempted to lean in and kiss him, Zef fought the urge. His words about her earrings were particularly satisfying. “Thank you. The flower is a Baoran, native to my world. My mother used to wear one in her hair all the time, so these are a reminder of her.”
She was rethinking the kiss when he took the opportunity to lean back and comment about dinner. “Well, not eating right now wouldn’t be so bad—we do have all night this time.” She laughed, suddenly a bit giddy about the coming hours.
Alwex smiled and said “Very astute observation, my dear doctor. So… if you will allow me, -” and he stood slowly, “- I will endeavor to appease your appetite in whatever fashion I can devise.” and he winked at her and then turned slowly and went to the kitchen.
The clicking of dishes and a cloud of steam accompanied an aroma filling the room. The smell was earthy and herbal, but the spice was evident even in the aroma. Underneath was a hint of sweetness.
A few moments later, Alex walked towards Zef carrying two plates. Setting them down on the carved wooden table; each was filled with saffron rice covered in a rich, brown sauce. In the sauce could be seen chunks of lamb and bits of onion, peppers, and various finely chopped vegetables.
“Would you mind filling the glasses? I’ll go get dessert.” and he went back to the kitchen and brought back two small bowls filled with a white, creamy, dish. “Yogurt with honey and chopped dates. I hope you this suits you for dinner.” and he sat down, his hip touching hers.
Zef set about topping off their glasses just as Alex had asked. By the time he was seated next to her, her mouth was watering at the aroma coming off the plates. “Well, if it tastes as wonderful as it smells, then I’d say it’s a definite hit.” They busied themselves eating, each bite revealing something new to the Counselor. There were several things she’d not tasted before, like lamb, saffron, mango and yogurt, so she concentrated on the flavors.
The more she ate, the more the heat built up in the back of her mouth. That resulted in drinking more wine than usual in an attempt to lessen the effect. Eventually, she set her fork down so she wouldn’t eat any more. “Whew! It’s delicious, but it’s hot!”
Alex chuckled. “It is, yes. Try alternating bites of the main dish with a taste of the yogurt. That will ease the heat back down and let you keep going. Here, like this.” and he took his fork and stabbed apiece of lamb and held it up to her mouth.
Surprisingly, Zef looked a little disconcerted and swallowed hard before she took the chunk of meat. This wasn’t Baj with its unusual traditions. As she processed the bite, Alex would be able to see her visibly relax again.
Once she had taken the bite and chewed a bit, he set he fork down and took a bit of the yogurt and repeated the process, lifting the spoon to her lips and saying “Now, the fat in the yogurt tones down the heat of the lamb, and the bite of the gravy is mixed with the sweetness of the honey and dates to bring you a complete profile.” and he withdrew the spoon from her lips and then leaned in and kissed her.
There was no hesitation taking in the yogurt, and as soon as the sweet, coolness hit her tongue, she smiled and swallowed. “Ohhhh, yes, that’s be…” And then his lips were on hers and the rest was left unsaid. After a moment, their lips parted. “I don’t suppose you’d like to end every bite that way, would you?” The sparkle in her eyes added to the tease.
Alex, his face still a hand’s breadth away from hers, smiled and said “I’d definitely like to try… but I don’t think we’d be able to finish dinner before it got cold.” and he slowly leaned in and kissed her again, long and lingering, before parting and slowly leaning back.
“Yeah… dinner would definitely get cold.” he said with a teasing grin of his own.
Zef harrumphed and settled back into her own space. “Well, we’ll have to remember to start out with cold food the next time, just in case we don’t want to wait.” With raised brows, she stabbed another bite of the lamb and popped it into her mouth.
Alex laughed softly and said “I’ll make a note of it.” and likewise took a bite of the lamb. After a brief silence, he looked at her and said “I have to say… this is probably the best meal I’ve had on the Manhattan… company-wise, that is. I’m really glad you are here, Zef.”
Looking down at the bowl of yogurt, she closed her eyes slowly, letting the sincerity of his words wash over her. When she raised her gaze to look at Alex, the corners of her mouth were raised in the barest of smiles but he would be able to tell that she was emotional. “I’m glad too. I knew I wanted to get to know you the first time we met, Alex, but I wasn’t sure how we’d really get along.” Placing her hands on either side of his face, she pulled him very, very close, so that when she spoke, her lips brushed his. “I’m stupid happy that we worked.” Then she kissed him.
He kissed her back, and pulled her close to him so that they were pressed against one another. He held her for a long time before finally parting from her lips, resting his forehead against hers and smiling. “I’m happy, too. I have to say, our first few conversations didn’t leave me feeling like we connected… at least in a way that would us to here… but I’m really glad neither of us quit.”
Knowing when he pulled her close, the dish of yogurt in her lap was likely to smoosh between them, Zef didn’t hesitate to let it happen. “I’m glad we didn’t quit either. Those first conversations were rousing, but not game changers.” As their bodies separated, she saw the damage—her dress was smeared with creamy, white, yogurt over the left side of her lap.
Alex looked down and grimaced. “Well hell… smooth, Cochrane.” and he moved to stand up. “Im so sorry. On such a gorgeous dress, too. Fortunately it will wash off easily. Let me get you a damp towel.” and he turned to move to the kitchen.
She quickly stood and followed him, pulling the dress off over her head while being careful not to get yogurt on anything else. “Its alright, I’ll just rinse it out in the sink.” When she stepped up next to him, she was completely naked except for the golden body jewelry that hung delicately around the trunk of her body.
Alex didn’t see the dress come off. Nor did he see the end result of the removal until he turned and faced her… mouth agape and towel in hand, stunned by the sight before him.
Recovering (somewhat), he said “Uh… well. That… that is certainly a nice piece, there. Jewelry… a nice piece of jewelry. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it… especially not on such an exquisite model.” and he stared a bit longer before slightly shaking himself free of the effect and he said “Please, allow me.” and he stepped next to her and placed his hands on hers under the water. “Mom’s summer home has no real luxuries. We do laundry in the creek, so I know my way around this.”
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