Posted July 2, 2022, 12:32 a.m. by Lieutenant Sheleah Ruby (Diplomatic Officer / CNS) (Catt Bennett)
Posted by Lieutenant Sheleah Ruby (Diplomatic Officer / CNS) in Captains Quarters - Dinner with Sheleah
Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Captains Quarters - Dinner with Sheleah
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Natasha Knight (Chief Medical Officer) in Captains Quarters - Dinner with Sheleah
Posted by… suppressed (13) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“Tonight?” The voice Dante was using was carefully guarded, but sounded surprised. “And by Tonight, you mean, now?”
“No, I mean three weeks from now,” Natasha shot back shaking her head and leaning against the door to the bathroom. “This is why I keep saying we need an old-fashioned wall calendar where I can write things in black ink. At least then I can point to it when you say I don’t tell you something.”
“Baby I am literally just out of the shower, late back from the Bridge, and you just casually throw out a Oh, and Sheleah is coming over for dinner tonight, she’ll be here in five, as I am standing here in a towel? If you told me earlier I could have had a quicker shower and helped, do you need me to help set up?” Freshly showered, Dante stood with a towel around his waist and damp footprints following him on the carpet.
“Because today at breakfast when I said be on time because we have plans this evening wasn’t enough of a reminder? Do you ever really listen to me or do you just see the uniform and think I am one of your crew?” Pushing off the wall she began to walk away. They had been together many years, and Dante knew her mood by the way she walked away. The pace showed she was not interested in him following her.
“One of my crew huh?” Dante said and looked at her with an eyebrow raised, then he quickly half ran up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind while he tried to kiss her neck. “How many of my crew do you see me trying this with? Huh?” He did know her mood, and he also knew the best way to get her out of it was to make her crack a smile. Sometimes that was a challenge when he had done something stupid, but he cared and he knew she knew that.
Natasha tried not to smile. Moments like this melted her. Dante had a way to revert them back to the crazy, barely out of their teen-years cadets like they were when they met. While he didn’t get a chance to show this on duty like those in the crew with less rank and responsibility, he did, and often in their quarters. Letting out a laugh, she scrunched up her neck trying to block it. Dante however was too fast snaking into that small area above her collar bone. “Dante stop. Stop,” she yelled out in a giggling tone. He toyed with her setting her toes back to the ground before picking her up again. As much as she was adoring the attention, it was going to be fleeting. That was the problem recently, not enough of a normal life between the times they had to be proper. For years, Natasha had been satisfied with following him and his career. Moving from the Outpost to his ship did wonders and would have been perfect if it had not been for the birth of their son. While Oscar was a blessing, like all parents, Natasha was starting to want more for Oscar and for thier family.
“Ugh we don’t have time for this,” Natasha said feeling Dante’s hands wrap around her waist and pull her back to his chest. “We have company coming and you are dripping all over the floor.” Her hands snaked to her waist and began to push down on his wrists.
“Your friend Kalani wants to flood two decks to make an artificial reef, and you’re worried about me dripping?” Dante grinned.
“Yes it will ruin the carpet and then smell like a wet dog… or lizard,” she contemplated her response knowing the pet they owned did not reek of wet fun.
“Tell you what, I’ll get Engineering to change our floor out. I’m the Captain, I can do that you know.”
“I am serious,” she let out a small chuckle. “We don’t have time for this and I really would prefer for you to be dressed once before the company comes.” This was not the first time Dante was half-naked in their apartment as guests arrived.
“Okay, so, are we going casual or should I put on something more formal?” he asked, eyeing what Nat was wearing. She was dressed casual at this moment, but more than once she had been able to flip a switch and turn what appeared to be ‘mom clothes’ into something that made men’s heads turn faster than a dancer’s quick change movement.
Dante Knight, CO
“You should absolutely go full dress uniform. That will make Ruby feel so welcome and relaxed.” Running her fingers through her hair, Natasha moved out of the bedroom and towards the kitchen. It had been so long since she and Dante were just random shmucks inviting friends over for dinner. Natasha had been looking forward to this dinner for a while. For one night, she wanted to be Nat and Dante without rank or interruptions.
“Dress uniform!” Dante nodded and turned back to the bedroom, adjusting the towel around his waist. “Good idea!”
Natasha Knight CMO
Over the last hour Rex’s momma had changed clothes twice, bathed them both, and even managed to clip his nails, all the while talking to him in the sweet sing song voice she loved so much. They were going to dinner and he needed to be a handsome young man on his best behavior. That’s why she had brought out the good harness and leash. She adjusted it for the last time and stood. Glancing down she smiled and thought of how big Rex had gotten even though he was still a bit small for his age.
As they left Sheleah’s quarters to walk tot he Captain’s quarters, the pair were greeted by several passers by commenting on what a beautiful boy he was and oh what pretty golden eyes he has.
Soon, Sheleah stood at the door in a relaxed fit cream colored skirt and sleeveless navy blue blouse. Her sedge heels were mate gold with a bit of sparkle on the strap and quite high. The height of the heels was to add a bit to her 5‘3” stature. The sparkles were because she thought Rex liked them.
Shifting the bottle of wine in her left hand, she rang the chime and waited.
As she waited for Natasha to reply a boyishly handsome man slid up to her side and leaned against the frame. “Oh my god, you look fabulous for dinner at the Captain’s place. They never dress up like that for me. Nice kitty by the way. Don’t let Kale see that. I already have a zoo, and I am about to ban anything else coming into the house with feathers, fur, scales, or wings. Jarred,” he stuck out his hand in greeting.
Sheleah shifted again and shook Jared’s hand flashing an easy smile.
“Pleased to meet you.”
“I say we give them another ten seconds and then I will just bypass the lock. What do you say?” There was a playfulness about the man and a relaxed charm indicating he was not at all unfamiliar with this doorway.
“Yeah, another ten seconds, sure.”
“Come on. Let’s see who is at the door? Let’s hope it is for you,” Natasha said pulling her hair back into a ponytail as she scooped up Oscar and zerberted his neck. The dark-haired toddler let out a squeal and began laughing. Opening the door, Natasha did a double-take.
“Sheleah…Jarred,” she replied with a smile bouncing Oscar who instantly saw Alindor and began squirming in her arms.
“Natasha…Ivan,” Jarred said narrowing his gaze at the boy pretending to put on a stern face. “Now that we have the names straight I think you should take this,” he took the bottle of wine from Sheleah handing it to Nat. “I should take this,” he scooped up the small boy and tossed him over his shoulder, “and remind you that you are not getting him back tonight. Lizzie has already made a tent and Kal is making those amazing spam sandwiches.” Jarred gagged slightly and made a choking face.
“Thank you guys so much for taking him. He is a handful,” Natasha said patting Oscar’s butt with her hand causing the little boy to laugh.
“I know I already lost him. Oscar…Oscar…where are you. You need to give your mom a kiss,” Jarred said turning around in a circle twice before stopping so the little guy could kiss him mom goodbye.
“Be good,” Nat said planting a kiss on the pudgy cheek as Jarred turned back to face them.
“Ladies have a great night. Oscar…Oscar where are you,” Jarred playfully teased the smallest Knight as he bounced him down the hall towards his own quarters.
Natasha watched the man walk away for a half-second before turning her attention to Ruby. “Sorry. He is a force of nature but Oscar only goes with him or Rico without pitching a fit and it’s not like there are a ton of babysitters on board.” Looking at Ruby, Nat smiled. “You look fabulous. Come in..come in,” she gestured for the counselor to come into the room.
Sheleah had watched the interaction. She was pleased to see that even the youngest among them had such a safety net and was so well loved.
Laughing and smiling at the interractions, she and Rex followed Natasha into the Captain’s quarters.
“Oh wow! He’s adorable. I don’t know if I’m much of a baby sitter but I’d be willing to try in a pinch.” she said.
“Be careful or we might take you up on that,” Natasha laughed. “What can I get you to drink? Dinner is almost ready. Dante,” Natasha called out. Ruby is here.” Moving into the kitchen area, she pulled out a beer for Dante and poured her a measure of vodka for herself. “Do I chill the wine or is it at room temperature?”
Natasha Knight CMO
Sheleah walked further into the quarters with Rex’s leash in her right hand. Since he was in a new place, he stayed close at her side for the moment, and seemed to be smelling everything.
“Chill the wine please. I think I’d like a bit of that vodka too.” she said.
“Now that sounds like a party!” The slightly Italian accented voice of Dante Knight came from the bedroom door as he stepped through, now having exchanged the towel for a pair of tan chinos, black belt and a white oxford button-down shirt with the sleeves casually rolled up to just below the elbows, tucked into the chinos. The casual dinner look was finished by a pair of reddish brown driving loafers, minus socks, and a number of leather type bands around his left wrist of varying designs. His hair was still clearly damp, but had been brushed into place with his fingers.
“It’s good to have you for dinner, Counselor,” he greeted Sheleah, moved beside Natasha, and offered to take the wine. “Let me put that in an ice bucket and you can pour another bub,” he winked at Nat and placed a hand on the center of her back, then grinned in Sheleah’s direction. “I take it that’s Rex? He’s bigger than I thought.”
Sheleah smiled at the Captain then nodded looking down at Rex.
“He’s actually a bit small for his age. That and a host of other minor genetic anomalies are why he’s with me and not roaming Brazil at the moment. Please feel free to call me Sheleah if you like. Either we’re off duty or I’m always on duty, what does it matter?”
“Point taken Sheleah,” Dante smiled warmly and nodded. “Likewise, feel free to use my name. In these quarters the only one that calls me Sir is Natasha.” Smirking slightly, he turned his head to look at his wife for a long moment.
Natasha brought the drinks and handed Dante his preferred Lagavulin instead of vodka.
“Thank you gorgeous,” Dante took the drink and gave her a light, quick kiss on her cheek.
“Here you go,” she said then handing Sheleah’s drink to her. “This is premium Saracen distilled vodka. Dante got me the equipment last year for Christmas. It made it slow much easier when the inlaws now visit.” Kneeling down she scratched Rex behind his ears. “You know you can let him off the leash. Bruce can take care of himself,” she said standing back up.
Rex nuzzled Natasha’s hand and blinked his great golden eyes at her several times. Sheleah took the Vodka in one hand, leaned down, then unclipped the leash with the other.
“The in-laws. Oh that sounds promising too. I always find family brings out such interesting facets of a personality.”
“You mean the bad side of a personality,” she laughed. “Just kidding. I love Alessandra but she and my babushka always just want either more babies or us to say we are retiring and moving back to Earth. The order of the importance of those things varies greatly with the temperature, phase of the moon, or cosmic sway of the universe. Bóo-deem zda-ró-vye,” Natasha lifted her glass in salute before throwing back the shot and pouring another one. “Russian toast that means to our health,” she said with a smile.
Sheleah raised her glass in silent Salute and tasted the Saracen vodka as it were. Smiling, she nodded appreciatively.
“Personally I like Dasvidaniya better,” he raised his glass and sipped his Lagavulin, closing his eyes a moment as the smooth 16yo aged scotch whiskey ran over his tongue and down his throat, the burn only hitting when it reached his stomach. Opening his eyes, he smiled again. “Okay so it means till we meet again or goodbye, but it’s got panache as a drinking term.”
“So how are you finding the Saracen so far,” Natasha asked with a smile.
“I think the word is ‘complicated’ but, maybe, it’s just a different kind of complicated than my last posting. I’m quite certain that I’m really going to enjoy myself here. I have noticed quite a variety of animal life here. One of the new arivals I was doing intake for said we should just rename this ship ‘The Ark’. He’s not wrong but I don’t think that would go over very well.”
Looking at Nat, Dante shook his head. “Your Pal Kalani is turning my Battlecruiser into a floating wildlife reserve. At least we can hang up signs on the nacelles that say “Don’t shoot, endangered animals on board.”
“Better than Captain Fabulous and Captain Chaos insanity barge,” she let out a laugh remembering the old joke from the academy.
“The Barge was something else,” he laughed. “It was fun though, and got results, gotta admit.”
The vodka was slowly warming Sheleah and she could feel herself relaxing from the inside out.
As she and Natasha had been chatting, Rex had began padding silently about the living quarters. His whiskers and the tip of his tail were twitching as he stopped to sniff items seemingly at random.
While Bruce was affectionate to anyone human or sentient being holding a ball or any other orb-like object that could roll, he tended to be more the laid-back pre-teen with anyone without an opposable thumb. Playing ball was his life. If this new person could not roll something, the night was going to be long. “Bruce,” he said to Rex raising his head to the visitor exploring the room. “That your mom?“
Natasha and Bruce Knight.
Rex hadn’t seen a scaly thing quite that big since he was much much smaller on Earth. He gave Bruce an obligatory sniff and decided that since Sheleah had brought him here, it must be safe but, that didn’t stop his tail from puffing up impressively.
“Yes, that’s my momma. Isn’t she pretty? I mean maybe, except for those things on her feet. I’ll never understand why they cover their paws. I’m Rex.” he said continuing to look around.
“Okay, let me help with this table,” Dante turned and placed the wine into the chilled bucket filled with Ice, and then started moving covered pots and serving dishes that Natasha had prepared onto the middle of the table between the plates and cutlery that had been set out.
“Hopefully this is to your liking Sheleah,” he looked up as he peeked under the lid of one of the pots. “We tend to keep dinner simple, but full of flavour. The benefits of a mixed Russian and Italian household right love?” He grinned at Natasha as he pulled out the seats for both of the ladies.
Sheleah had been watching Natasha and Dante. She decided not to comment on any private reasons why a wife might call her husband sir. They seemed like a happy healthy married couple and she certainly didn’t plan on doing marriage counseling unless it was absolutely necessary. Too many bad memories of her first posting.
Nodding, she slipped into the chair Dante had pulled out.
“My parents did so much travelling I never knew what culture’s cuisine we would be having for dinner from one night to the next. I’m certain this will be fine by me. Now about that barge…” she said looking at Dante with a raised eyebrow.
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