The Troi Family


This story follows Imzadi by Peter David.  It's just kind of a fun story I started a long time ago.  Kestra, Deanna's sister is alive and they have a younger sister Taylor.  There aren't any quotation marks, so if that messes you up, might not want to read this one!  Hope you enjoy it.  Oh, and it's unfinished.  I'll try to add on to it often.


“Mr.Homn,” said Taylor Ashlyn Troi. “Have you seen my jacket?” The tall, eerie, valet
pointed to the bottom of the stairwell. “Thank you,” she said. “Tayly you're going to be
late for school,” reminded Kestra.  “Yeah, Yeah. . .I'm leaving. See you Deanna.”  Bye
Mom I'm leaving for school. Taylor sent to Lwaxana. Bye little one and Little one I have
a banquet to attend at the embassy tonight. Do you want to go? She asked. I'll think
about it, she thought back as she walked out the door.

William T. Riker walked into the Federation Embassy traveling bags still in his hands. He
was a handsome young officer assigned to Betazed temporarily, until his next assignment,
first officer on the U.S.S. Hood. He immediately left his things in his cabin, made his way
to the main office, and was quickly seated in front of his CEO, Mr. Andrew McMillian.
Hello, Lieutenant. How was your trip? Asked McMillian. Very pleasant, sir. Excuse me,
Andrew, Lt. Would either of you like some tea, coffee? Asked McMillian's secretary.
McMillian looked to Riker. I'll take some tea, said the lieutenant. And so will I Sara.
Thank you. Oh and Mr. McMillian don't forget to take those mission details over to the
Troi mansion. She reminded him. Thanks again Miss Mitchell.Darn, I forgot all about that.
The embassy is sending the ambassador on a mission. he explained to Riker. I'll be glad to
take it over there, sir.offered Riker.I would be very appreciative, Lieutenant.Lovely family
the Troi's. Mrs. Troi of course daughter of our Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice
of Riix, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed.

Then there's Kestra the oldest, engaged, getting married next month.

   Deanna beautiful girl, goes to the university. She has a degree in geology and is working
on her psychology degree.

  The youngest, Taylor Ashlyn, she's a doll. Top of her class, boys left and right. She
wants to be a writer.

   Lwaxana knows about the mission.  Just make sure you put this in her hands. You're 1st
mission Mr. Riker. And I'm on my way. He told his commanding officer, and then he
headed out the door.

I don't think you should make excuses, Tayly, said Kaitlin Gorden Taylor's best friend. I
think you should go. Taylor wasn't paying attention she'd asked Faith for advise, but she
had already decided what she was going to do. They were approaching the mansion and
she was admiring the clear light purple sky of her home world. You want to come in
Kaitlin? she asked her friend. No she replied I have to go, my mother wants me to babysit
tonight for my younger brother and sister.  Alright talk to you tomorrow.  Bye, said
Taylor as she walked through the door and stood behind it. Mother she thought.

Deanna, I'm home, she sent to her sister.  Where's Mother? She began to walk toward the
library, and layed her stuff down on the steps. She went to get her dress for the banquet. 
Deanna thought. When Taylor reached the library she spoke aloud. Well, when she comes
in could you please tell her I have tons of homework and I won't be able to attend the
banquet with her. Why can't you tell her? asked Kestra who was sitting behind her.  Oh,
hello Kestra, said Taylor politely.  Before she could answer her sister's question the door
chimed.  I'll get it, said Taylor trying to avoid Kestra.  No said Kestra I will. It's probably,
Aaron.  As she began to walk out the door Taylor using her best "Kestra voice" mocked
her sister. You could've beat her to the door you know, Deanna told her. Yes, well it was
for mother, she said plopping down into a chair carelessly.  A Lieutenant Riker I think.
He's bringing over some mission pl- before she could finish Kestra and Riker passed by
they'd obviously heard her stop abruptly.  My mother should be back any second.  Let me
introduce you to my sisters, said Kestra.  This is Deanna.  Deanna looked up from her
book momentarily.  She's always got her nose stuck in a book.  Deanna this is Lt. Riker.  I
know. Deanna glanced at Taylor.  Nice to meet you, Lieutenant, she told him.  Likewise
he shook her hand.  And, continued Kestra, This is Taylor.  She waved.  She always has
her nose stuck where it doesn't belong.  Taylor stood up began to walk. And you've
already met Kestra who always has her nose stuck up in the air.  Deanna snickered and
Riker grinned.  I'll be upstairs, she said and continued out of the room. Sweet Kid said
Riker.  I like her.  Yes Kestra said flatly, Well. She turned around and saw her mother
coming up the hallway.  Hello mother.  Mr. Riker's here to see you about a mission. Yes.
Homn hang this up for me.  He nodded his head and went on his way.  I'm going to see
Aaron, said Kestra.  I will be back before dinner.  Nice meeting you lieutenant.  You too,
said Will.  Ambassador, Lwaxana stopped him.  Call me, Mrs. Troi. Mrs. Troi,  he
continued. Mr. McMillian asked me to deliver this to you.  It's the mission specs.  When
do I leave, she asked.  You'll need to read it ma'm, I was just told to put this in you're
hands, he handed the computer padd to her.  Thank  you lieutenant, she told him.  Well,
said Will. I  need to be leaving.  I just arrived and all.  Haven't even unpacked.  That's
fine, she said.  You may go.  Deanna, will you show the lieutenant to the door.  Yes, I'd be
happy to, she said as she ushered him toward the hallway. So your happy to show me to
the door because your glad that I'm leaving or because your book was getting boring? He
asked her goodheartedly.  Neither.  It was because I was concerned for some odd reason
for your health, she told him.  He looked confused. My health? I'm afraid I'm not
following, Miss Troi. Please call me Deanna.  Let me explain. If I wouldn't have offered
to show you to the door my mother would've yelled at the top of her lungs for Mr. Homn,
and you wouldn't be able to use that ear any more.  He laughed.  Well it seems I owe you
a great deal of thanks.  Starfleet too.  Before either of them could say goodbye Taylor
came running in between them to the door, but Deanna grabbed her arm. Taylor Ashlyn
where are you going?  She asked her baby sister.  To the library, she said frankly. Taylor
was wearing a pale pink short cropped sleaveless sweater with a light blue and pink plaid
design on it and a light pink corduroy skirt that was a little too short for Deanna's taste,
but looked rather good on Tayly.  Her hair was curled in tight, curly ringlets and pulled
back in a light blue ribbon. You like? she turned in a circle.Deanna smiled.  Yeah, hey,
after tonight no more avoiding mother alright? She nodded.  C'mon Taylor I'll be glad to
give you a ride. Ok then.  To the library, she said. To the library, he repeated.  Bye
Deanna, said Tayly.  It was really great meeting you Deanna.  Stop by the embassy
sometime, he said opening the door.  It was nice meeting you too, lieutenant.  Maybe I
will stop by sometime, she told him. He smiled and continued out the door.  She smiled
back, but only after the door was closed knowing not the interesting relationship they
would have in the future.

     Your going to have to show me how to get to the library, ok? said Riker after he and
Taylor climbed into the landrover.  Sure she told him. You like her don't you? asked
Taylor. Who?  Oh you mean Kestra? No.  Deanna. Who could like Kestra ? she thought.
Do you like Deanna? Well, Taylor he began. Turn right there lieutenant, and you can call
me Tayly. Well, Tayly that's for me to know and you to find out.  He teased her. You like
her she said confidently. He nudged her. Let's keep that between us.Alright? Alright she
promised him.Now he said if I'm not mistaken there's someone you like waiting  at the
library. No lieutenant  you aren't mistaken. There's this boy she began Your boyfriend he
inserted. My boyfriend she replaced and we're going to study for our Calculus
midterm.  He's good at Calculus, I'm not. He told me he was going to be at the library
tonight so I just decided to drop by and see if he'd help me. I'm not aloud to date until I'm
sixteen and even though this isn't a real date. . . just so it won't get distorted. . .we'll keep
it between ourselves she said quickly like a question. Yes we will he cofirmed. It was really
cool hangin' with you lieutenant.Call me Will he said. Will she said Bye. Bye Tayly he said
smiling and then he headed toward the embassy.

     Deanna Troi upstairs at the Troi Mansion was  helping her mother pack when Kestra
came into the room.Starfleet needs me to leave for this mission earlier than expected she
said closing her suitcase I'm leaving you in charge. Try to be nice to your sisters .I'm
always nice to my sisters, how could you think otherwise? she said teasingly as they
followed Lwaxana downstairs. And Mother said Deanna don't worry about the banquet. I'll
go. Thank you, Deanna. I'd forgotten all about that in all this hurrying. Mr. Homn walked
up behind her and gestured toward the door. Ah,yes time to go. She kissed both of them
goodbye. Where's  Taylor ?she asked noticing her "Little One" was missing. She went to
the library, said Deanna. The library? Hmm, studying no doubt. Tell her goodbye for me
will you, and take her with you to the banquet if she gets home in time. She needs the
exposure to society, and naturely to have a good time, she finished. I will Deanna assured
her mother. See you in a few days Lwaxana told the two of them and then she followed Mr.
Homn out the door.

As Taylor Ashlyn Troi entered the library she stopped at a table near the entrance to
talk to some of her friends from school.  Have any of you seen Harper? she asked them
and then she saw him. He was standing by a bookshelf in the corner with Sidney Reed
talking about much more than Calculus.  Never mind she said I found him. One of Taylor's
closest friends Destiny leaned toward her and said Is it just me or are they kissing?
They're kissing. What is his problem?  Has he lost his flippin' mind?! she snatched up a
piece of computerized paper. The only girl in the entire school who I don't even think
about liking and he's kissing her in front of all my friends and me for heaven's sake! she
mumbled as she punched something in on the paper. Tayly what are you doing? asked her
friend curiously. How icky.said Lily as they watched Taylor walk toward Harper and
Sidney. He's going to miss her. When Tayly reached Harper and Sidney she put her hand in
between there heads and stuck the paper to his forehead It's over she said and then she
picked  up her books and stormed out of the library.

        Deanna Troi walked into the Federation Embassy and out of the cool night breeze
on Betazed. Lt. Riker who was on the far side of the room turned and looked in her
direction. In fact, it seemed to him everyone's eyes were on her, or maybe it was just that
she and he were the only two in the room . He didn't know because the moon couldn't
even compare to the radiance he was gazing upon at this very moment. She nodded to him
as as an attendant took her coat. She smiled at all the familiar glances, and casually lost
herself in the mingling crowd. She was a mysterious creature loving, caring, and determined
to leave him hangin', but as the old Earth poem said distance lends enchanment to the
view, and that it did.           

     When Tayly  stormed out of the Betazed National Library she decided she definitely
needed time to temper her emotions before she went home. What am I going to do ? she
thought. She would probably forgive Harper eventually, but if she went home miffed her
mother would pick up on it immediately, and blow the whole thing out of proportion. She
had to admit at this point and time she wouldn't mind her ex-boyfriend being annihilated,
but everything would probably just be distorted. Especially if Kestra had anything to do
with it. I'm still upset, I can't go to the mansion, and if I, a Daughter of the Fifth House of
Betazed, were found sleeping on this park bench I'd never here the end of it. But where
can I go? Will she thought and then she stood up and headed out the gates of the park
and toward the Federation Embassy.

      When Deanna got home from the banquet it was almost midnight. So she tried to be
as quiet as possible.  She didn't want to disturb her sisters who were most likely
asleep. She found Taylor's jacket at the bottom of the stairwell where she'd left it after
school. She's going to be looking for this thought Deanna as she headed upstairs. Deanna
had learned over the years it was seldom safe to leave her two sisters alone together for
long periods of time. She stopped by Taylor's room on the way to her own, but instead of
finding Taylor asleep or at her desk writing which was what she expected to
encounter, there was only an empty room. She assumed after Taylor had returned home
she was too tired to come upstairs and had just crashed in one of the guest rooms
downstairs .In any case she slipped inside Tayly's bedroom to put up her jacket. She looked
around at the room. It was a work of art, as was her own. The walls like the carpet were a
light shade of lavendar, the bed had a mixture of the pale lavendar color and white in it's
swirls, above there was a sheer white canopy that hung down, and inside the huge picture
window was a window seat that matched the bedspread. Beside the bed was a nightstand
that always held an arrangement of fresh daises and the latest book Taylor was either
reading or composing. On th far side of the room was an old desk which had belonged to
Taylor's father, and on the desk was Tayly's viewscreen and many other things such as a
family picture that had special significance to her. As Deanna left the room she closed the
door softly and being thoroughly worn out she went to get some sleep.

    When Taylor Troi reached The United Federation of Planet's Embassy on Betazed her
face was damp from crying and she was shivering. She made her way to the crew quarters
and sought out Lt. Riker's cabin. Tayly hesitated before hitting the door chime. The Lt.
looked as retched as she felt. She was seriously thinkin' that he'd been sleeping. Tayly he
said genuinely surprised. Did I wake you ?she asked him. Yeah he said, but don't his brain
was clearing and he remembered how late it was and examined the girl he'd met hours
earlier. Her eyes were bloodshot and red from crying, a few tears were still trickling down
her face as he spoke to her, and in her short sleeves she was trembling. worry about it, he
finished. She was a mess. Are you okay? he asked her. She shook her head. No.Could  I...?
Absolutely. He took her by the hand and guided her inside. Tell me what's up. Mr. Riker got
Taylor a blanket and some hot chocolate as she sat down and began to tell him what had
happened. She told him about talking to her friends and finding Harper with Sidney. By the
end of the story she was pacing and trying to keep the scream which was so loud and
audible inside her from bubbling out. I feel like I need to just throw up all my insides.
Please, he said, not on the carpet. She lifted her head flashing her watery dark eyes at him,
smiling slightly, and then casting them back at the floor. I'll forgive him. That wasn't quite
what Riker expected her to say.  Especially after that comment about throwing up her
insides.  She must be becoming delirious, he thought, Love's really hit her hard.

Yes, Lieutenant, love has hit me hard, but I'm not becoming delirious.  He looked up at
her. I'm not invading your thoughts or anything she said realizing what she'd done. It's just
that I'm young and troubled and anxious and distressed and tormented and confused. And
I just learned how to use these ridiculous shields properly and when I can't concentrate
things slip through. I'm really sorry I wouldn't usually just, well you know, tresspass. We
have classes in school to help us practice and mature with our abilities. I'm actually one of
Betazed's most promising telepaths. A hopeful or prodigy of some sort I guess. I've had
tutors and been rated as far back as I can remember. Not to mention glancing at who my
parents are....He waved her off. Back to why your so quick to forgive Harper? You
remembered his name, she said playfully.  I catch on quick.  Oh, well she said plopping
onto the couch and shifting the blanket around her, we're getting married she finished as if
it were the most logical explanation in the universe.

     Passing Taylor's room on the way back from the bathroom Kestra stopped to check in
on her youngest sister. Although she and Tayly hardly ever got along she had to admit
that her life wouldn't be as fun without her. She opened the door and peeked through.
Oh, well, she thought, She must have fallen asleep downstairs, and made her way back to
her own bedroom. Good night, Taylor.

Married Riker responded to Taylor's proclamation surprised. Your not even 16, and as
you pointed out earlier can't even date. Are you sure your not just somehow confused?
Yes, Lieutenant I'm positive, Tayly sighed, we're betrothed she finished not seeming
particurely thrilled about it at the moment. It was decided before we were even born.
Sounds kinda torturous, doesn't it? Yes, actually it does. he said truthfully. The way Mr.
McMillian described you it was implied that you were quite popular amoung the boys.
Why limit yourself because of something decided by tradition? Well, Will, I could have any
boy that I want I suppose. As you ...or Mr. McMillian she corrected herself not wanting
him to perceive her as conceited, put it. I really liked Harper so I decided to try this
traditional betrothement thing. So, I guess he doesn't want to be my husband anymore,
huh? she laughd seeming amused. Everyone thought we were the perfect little aristocratic
couple. He'll probably ask me if I want to break the contract so he can go with Sidney,
and I'll be able to take advantage of that popularity with the boys you spoke of. She
seemed to be calmer now, not rambling like before. Almost regal. What was he thinking?
She was Betazoid royalty. Taylor had not only lost her boyfriend. It was to have
amounted to more than puppy love, and this young lady in front of him knew that.
Somewhere in the back of her mind he knew that she knew that in a way she'd failed at
her duty. A duty to her "Federation". That was something he could identify and
sympathize with. He surmised that her sudden merriment just might be the calm before the
storm so he went to his closet and grabbed one of the standard shirts he wore underneath
his uniform and some of his old pajama pants and tossed them to her. You know I heard
that the couches here at the Embassy are quite comfortable. She grinned gratefully. Thank
You she told Will. She went into the bathroom and changed into the sleepwear. Then she
came back out and reclaimed her seat on the couch. For some reason I appear to be wide
awake now, he told her. She started to apologize, but he put up his hand to signal she let
him finish. He pulled something out of a travel bag. Have you ever heard of a game called
poker? She shook her head, indicating that she had not. Well,by all means Miss Troi,
please pull up a chair!

    Maybe we should wake Taylor up Deanna said Kestra as she finished her breakfast.
She really is going to be late for school. Give her a break she gets straight A's in
school,mother not here she deserves a little extra sleep.Ok ten more minutes, but if she
complains about not having enough time to get ready it's your fault. 5 minutes sounds
better don't you think? Deanna said smiling. Sounds much better she replied as she took
there plates to the kitchen. Deanna walked over to the guest bedroom that was Tayly's
favorite. The one she always slept in if she was to tired to make to her own. She wasn't
there. The panic didn't grip her suddenly not even after she had searched all oher rooms in
the house. It wasn't until the 5 minutes was up and she mentioned it to her sister that her
panic showed up, in the midst of  Kestra. What do you mean she's not here?  She's gone.
She isn't residing here anymore. Deanna we're dead! Mother is going to kill us! I mean I
would enjoy not having Taylor around, but mother just, well, loves her too much !
Deanna tried to withold a smile, but wasn't successful.Kestra glared in her direction and
she quickly covered it up.  Suppose you could get a little more upset said  Kestra calm
down, said Deanna, she might've just spent the night at Faith's house. I bet she's at school
right now. Deanna mediator, peacekeeper, and ever the eternal optimist. If I wasn't she
said matter-of-factly you would all go insane. Trust me we'll find her. Personally, I could
just ring her neck. said Kestra. Let's just worry about getting her back safely,Ok? said
Deanna  Alright, then we'll strangle her. It that motivates you to find her, sure.

    Taylor Ashlyn Troi woke up about noon to a note that said I hope your feeling better .
My shoulders always here for you. Your Friend, Lt. Will Riker P.S. Good Luck!!! She
looked at the chronometer it was 12:30. She hadn't meant to sleep this long she really
should be getting home. She jotted down a thank you to the lieutenant praying the whole
planet wasn't out looking for her, and hurried out the door, in "her" pajamas.

Kaitlin Gordon was on her way to her Betazoid History Class when she spotted Destiny
and Lily on the far side of the Western Garden. The news about Taylor and Harper was
all over school. She didn't blame Tayly for laying low today. She and Harper were "The
Couple" at Betazed High, but it was time for her writing class and she never missed it.
She even came when she was so sick she could barely walk. She may just come for that
period but if Taylor Ashlyn Troi was conscious she was there. Kaitlin made a detour to
where the two were standing. She would probably be late for history, but hey this was her
best friend. Besides this could be a future history lesson in and of itself. Harper hasn't
shown up yet? she asked them when they stopped their conversation briefly as she
approached. Destiny shook her head. It was a negative. Maybe  he caught up with Tayly
and they made up and it was a night they'll never forget said Lily. Only you would  think
something like that Faith retorted defensively at first, but then she began to laugh. Maybe
Tayly would find some humor in this event after all. Probably not.

    Tayly approached the door to her home and walked through it naturally. Deanna was at
school, mother wouldn't be there until late, and Kestra was standing right in front of her
on the second floor hallway. Oops. Great just what I'd hoped for. Taylor Ashlyn Troi
where were you? Taylor winced she'd expected this tone, but she didn't welcome it. She
tried to walk around her sister. You owe me an explanation. Kestra said fiercly. You're
not worthy, she shot back just as sharply. I'm not, huh? said Kestra. Just as Tayly reached
the threshold of her room she heard Well then I'll just stick with my own answer. Which
is? she thought with a bit of curiousity and annoyance. That you met up with one of your
little boyfriends last night and... Taylor ran out of her room furiously and just what
evidence did you base this misguided hypothesis on! For one that mismatched sleepwear
you're wearing she said. That's circumstancial Taylor proclaimed clutching the necklace
she was wearing. Kestra stared her down with hateful eyes Is that where the hard
evidence is Taylor? His picture's in there isn't it? I don't have to listen to this she said
turning to retreat back into her bedroom, but Kestra pulled at her forcing her to stay
grabbing at the locket until it was wrenched from around her neck and lying on the floor.
She watched with sheer terror tears streaming down her face as the remnant of her
strength shattered before her eyes.  Kestra picked it up and looked inside confidently. She
was dumbfounded. Are you Taylor tried to fight back with words, but the quivering in her
voice forbade her. It wasn't worth wasting her breath. Kestra had gone a bit too far. She
headed for her room and this time her oldest sister did nothing to stop her.


Mrs. Troi was going over some information for her last meeting with the high council
on Turkana IV.  The official talks were over and although she was exhausted she looked
forward to the closing chit chat and banquet afterward. However, sensing a sudden burst
of strong emotion and knowing exactly where it had eminated from she decided the
delegates would have to make do without her this time. Homn, she called suddenly,  pack
up my things when I return we'll be leaving. He nodded slightly and was already packing
her bags as she rushed out the sliding cabin doors. The two were on a shuttle and on their
way home within minutes. Warp 9.0!

    Harper Evans was walking up the sidewalk in the subtropic weather of Betazed. He
kicked at the green stemmed daisies in his path.They were Taylor's favorite.Well, that and
lavendar roses. It made him think of her. It made him think of when he was ten and his
mother told him he was betrothed. It made him think of the first time he met Tayly, and it
made him think of last night at the library. He hurled the flower angrily into the air.He
hated her and he hated the way he felt. She was gorgeous and infuriating. Her heart was
devoted to the arts yet she had no reservation of her place in society. She was his friend
and his opposite outlook on life. He loved her. The confusion, the hurt, the anger. The
lost was obvious. But what about Sid? He'd screwed up the whole governmantal balance
of his planet. He just couldn't be what they wanted him to. He didn't like the whole idea of
arranged marriages. Even if he did care for the person it was arranged with. He was
walking up upon the park on the way to pick up the work he had missed at school. There
were a lot of his friends there, Taylor's too. Which wasn't unusual, but facing them would
be almost as difficult as convincing his telepathic mother that he was physically ill had
been earlier this morning. They wouldn't undestand he thought as he reachd the entrance
where a group of people were standing. They would think he was a jerk.  Destiny stepped
into his view. We don't think, we know your a jerk, Harper, she said. He kept walking.
Gazindg down at the daisies. He loved her.   

    Deanna made it home that evening suprised to see her mother rushing into the mansion
in front of her, leaving Mr. Homn lingering behind. She made it through the door just in
time to see Lwaxana dashing up the stairs. To her relief she sensed both of her sisters
were present, but the feelings she got from Taylor were ones of despair and the ones she
connected with her older sister were not exactly positive either. Kestra had stepped into
view when she'd heard their mother enter so abruptly, but was now retreating back into
the study. Deanna thought about asking her if she knew what was going on, but decided
against it. She looked around, but Mr. Homn wasn't anywhere in sight. She resolved she
would have to uncover the explanation herself. Deanna headed quietly up the three flights
of stairs to Taylor's bedroom. The door was cracked slightly and she peered through. Her
mother was cradling her younger sister in her arms. Through the sobs and tears she made
out the basis of what had happened when Taylor had returned to the mansion, and with all
her heart she wished she could've prevented it. She saw the broken locket clutched in her
hands, and the red tear stained face that looked as if it had been that way for hours. She
gently pulled the door shut and headed furiously down the stairs. Don't start with me,
Deanna said Kestra as she reached the study. What do you expect, Kestra, she said
disgusted, that was horrible. I thought you were just going to strangle her. That might
have been a lot less painful. Ha, Ha very funny, Dee. she said. Sure, it's hilarious that my
baby sister is upstairs clutching on to what's left of her father and your down here
gloating. Her eyes are swollen. Her heart is broken. Oh yeah, Kestra, you can be sure I'm
laughing on the inside, she retorted sarcasticly. I'm not gloating Do you loathe her that
much! Deanna interrupted. I don't- What did she ever do to you? You don't what ? You
don't care how much she's hurting? I don't believe that! He's dead Kestra! He's gone
forever! You of all people should relate to what Taylor's going through! What do you
want me to do? Kestra asked trying to stop her. Apologize, Deanna said frankly. I can't,
she replied turning from her sister's glare, I'm sorry. It seems to me, Deanna answered,
you can, but your right you are sorry.

    Lwaxana Troi rocked her youngest daughter back in forth trying to soothe the pain that
was piercing her tender heart. I know how much you miss your father, Taylor. You try so
hard to hide the anguish in your eyes, but your soft heart has shined through them since
the day you were born. I know your hurting, my dear, - I miss him too.-, but try to smile.
It's not fair to your lovely face to do it such an injustice. Tayly looked up and wiped her
eyes. She stared down at the damaged locket in her hand. Lwaxana put a finger under her
chin, pulling her gaze away. Take a bubble bath, drink some hot chocolate, sit out on the
balcony and gaze up at the stars; the pain will go away eventually, my dear, I promise. It
just takes time. She kissed her daughter on the forehead. In the meantime don't go around
with your head cast down. You might run into something, or worse, when you finally do
decide to look up, you might not recognize yourself. She nodded in acknowledgement.
And Taylor, her mother continued as she walked toward the door, he doesn't deserve you.
Taylor grinned slightly at the last words her mother spoke before exiting the room. It
seemed they'd approached more than one topic during the discussion, and Taylor knew
that Lwaxana was leaving the latter all up to her. Having a telepathic mother comes in
very handy sometimes, she admitted. A few stray tears trickled down her cheeks, and just
as her head hit the pillow from sorrow and exhaustion they began to flow again. I'm sorry
she heard in her thoughts before she fell into a soothing sleep. Sorry for what, mother?,
she asked. Sorry I couldn't spare you of this, was the reply she heard. I've experienced it
before, but it's almost too much to bear when the pain is radiating from your eyes, too.

     Will Riker had just taken a shower, dressed and was now sitting on the couch going
over his schedule for the following day. He felt relaxed and he welcomed a restful evening
after the grueling day he'd had. He was absolutely exhausted. He leaned back closing his
eyes momentarily, enjoying the peacefulness, and then the door chimed. Reluctantly, he
opened his eyes and walked towards the door. Who is it? he asked. Will, It's me...It's
Deanna Troi. Riker shook his head dumbfounded by the reply from the other side. He
opened the door to find that his ears had not been deceiving him and invited her in. I
didn't mean to bother you lieutenant, but I think these are yours, she told him holding out
the pants and T-Shirt he'd lent Taylor. Then you would be correct, he said lifting them
from her hands and motioning for her to come in. I can't stay long, she called to him as he
put the clothes away. My mother will send out the rescue squad. In that case he said as he
emerged from the bedroom, Would you like for me to walk you home? He saw the look
of concern on her face as she nodded slowly. He took her trembling hand  in his, looping
it around his arm, patting it slightly, and then leading her thoughtfully out the sliding

Taylor awoke to the glimmering stars shining in from the window. She stepped out of bed
and walked out onto the balcony, staring towards the heavens; her dark eyes glimmering
back at them. Her gaze remained skyward as she spoke from her heart. She began to let
the thoughts pour from her lips. She spoke candidly with the glittering beauties that had
for so long been her father's best friends. Then, she saw Harper or imagined that she had.
He spoke those famous lines from "Romeo and Juliet". Romeo's romantacism tried to
pierce the barrier to her heart, and she let herself fall into the rythm of his voice. She
appeared to be taken by the display, but when he was finished she did not return with the
classic O Romeo, Romeo follow up. Instead she rolled her eyes and turned her back to
him. If you don't leave immediately I'm going to call for security, she said quietly but
forcefully. You know I love you, he called. Romeo was ignorant, she said, So are you.
But I can read, he shot up to her. She smiled at that. He had read the whole thing just for
her, or at least he'd read that scene. She thought about turning around, but the thought
was overcast by his next words. Romeo knew what he wanted, but he made too many
mistakes....Tayly give me another chance! She swung around to face him, but saw nothing
but the late night mist. She sealed the balcony doors tight and fell back in bed.
Remembering it all as a distant dream.

  Will and Deanna had ended up taking the long way back to the mansion. She enjoyed the
warmth of his company, and she spilled out all of her worries for him to shoulder. He
carried them lovingly for at least a little while offering input and words of comfort. He'd
given her his coat as they walked passed the shadows of the breezy night. They spoke of
Taylor and her father, Kestra, and the beauty of her world. He told her of Earth and
shared with her some of his dreams. They got to know each other, and he made her laugh.
As they strolled upon the mansion he told her to tell Taylor hello, and that he was always
there if she needed to talk. Deanna suggested he come by and visit her, take her to a
museum, or to a play. He promised he would if his duties premitted, and when they had
strolled up the sidewalk to the mansion he paused at the bottom of the stairs. I think this
is your stop, he said.  He started to say goodbye when she stood on her toes, kissing him
lightly on the cheek. Thank you for taking care of my sister last night, she said heading up
the stairs. Think nothing of it, he replied as he watched her disappear behind the door.

     Do we have a test in here today?, asked Taylor as she sat down in her usual desk.
Faith shook her head, No. Good, she replied, because I'm frusterated. Faith pointed
towards Harper who was several seats ahead of them. Not this time, she told her best
friend, I screwed up on my Calculus Test. I um...I skipped the last page, she finished. You
are so dense, she heard in her mind. Faith was asking her why she didn't ask if she could
have her paper back when Taylor turned toward Harper. He was talking to a friend who
was sitting in front of him.We know your ears work. So, why not try your brain?, she
called to him.You are dense, he said aloud  I mean to be that absent minded is definitely a
sign of- She stood up interrupting him. I'm dense she yelled. Just look at who you're
sitting next to. Sidney sat quietly to the right of him, although, all eyes were narrowly
fixed on Harper & Taylor. Tay, don't, said Luke, who was sitting behind her, as she
started to walk towards Harper. Faith just watched. You didn't think I would want to be
with you for the rest of my life. Of course you do think a lot of yourself now don't you,
Little One ?! Harper Emerson, she said, you are the only one who thinks more of himself
than he should, and the only dense person I see because you gave up something that was
given to you that you never never could have gotten on your own. Me! She turned away
from the hateful look in his eyes and I hope you regret it for the rest of your life. The
teacher reached the door and looking a bit distraught said, Miss Troi, is there something
you would like to say? No, mam, she answered, I think we're finished and then she headed
back to her seat.

    Deanna Troi was making her way to her last psyche class of the day. She was going
over the notes she'd taken in her mind. She was trying to recall the things she'd learned in
the past few days and refresh herself with the complicated world of psychology. She
could've written a paper on what she had observed in her own household that would have
impressed, intriqued, and even challenged the most profound of psychological minds. But
Deanna found herself more than happy to focus on the test that was to begin in mere
minutes. She found herself more than happy to focus on anything that had absolutely
nothing to do with her immediate family these days. She was so thankful to Will for
comforting her last night, and for listening. A notion that had not occured to many of the
people who were close to her. He was her safehaven. It seemed strange to her that she
would ever feel so close to someone after knowing them only for a few days. Maybe Will
would like to go to dinner, she thought. Lunch was definitely out of the question seeing as
she only had about five seconds to make it to class. Yes, dinner. She was certainly looking
forward to dinner.

    Taylor was laying in tha serene Betazed countryside clutching a daisy she'd found lost
in her path. She had told Mr. Homn where she was going, but since he rarely talked she
wasn't exactly positive that her mother would receive the message. It really didn't matter
because if the great Lwaxana Troi needed her that bad she would definitely find her. The
place was only about ten minutes from her home, and her father had brought her to it
many, many  times to get a better view of the stars. He would set up his telescope and tell
her the stories behind the constellations and clusters. It was basically just time he could
spend alone with his daughter. She was his inspiration. Taylor had found herself making
her way back to the spot many, times since his recent death. All she had left of him was a
crippled locket with a holographic image of the two of them and these special father
daughter “talks”. They would talk to each other, listen to one another, and give each
other encouragement, ideas, and advice. Just like before, only now she heard his answers
less and less with her ears and more and more with her heart. Tayly dredded the days
when she would have to strain to hear his voice, and hoped it would never come to the
point of silence. And then today at lunch I was sitting undearneath a tree writing and I
caught him glancing at me through the windows, she finished bringing the prestigious
astronomer up to date. The stars are really beautiful tonight, Dad, she said. What was the
story behind that one, again? She asked. I can't remember it, she said sitting up. Why can't
I remember?, she asked frustrated at herself.  Oh, you know that one Tayly. She heard
from behind her. She turned to see Harper walking towards her. About the angel's that
guard over us and sprinkle dust from heaven in the skies to remind us that we're never
alone. The moonlight reaveled a tear that had strayed from her lovely eyes. The only other
person in the universe that knew about this place and he had to come now, she thought.
What are you doing here, she asked him. Mr. Homn told me you would be here, he
answered standing over her. He draped his jacket around her shoulders and was a little
surprised that she kept it there. Mr. Homn doesn't talk, she said. I thought you might be
out here, he replied sitting down beside her. She wanted so much for him to put his arm
around her and protect her from everthing nearby. And then he did. She buried her face
into his chest and sobbed. Neither one of them knew what was to happen in the future,
but she did know he would always be her friend.

Smiling helps I think.  Grin and bear it.  Is that it lieutenant?,  Deanna said literally
grinning from the inside out.  No, actually I meant that smiling helps you focus on the
positive aspects of the situation. So give me a positive aspect to my current situation, she
asked of him.  Our friendship, he told her. Definitely the one that has kept me smiling, she
said.  Glad to be of service and on that optimistic note, here's psyhcological profile #3, he
said taking another bite of his desert.  They had been in the small cafe for hours.  He had
been helping Deanna study for her psychology midterm and she had been teaching him a
thing or two about the wonderful world of the human psyche.  Mind if we take a break for
a while, she asked him.  Not at all, he told her, Where's Taylor tonight?  Deanna stretched
out her arms yawning.  I'm not really sure, she told him signaling the the waiter to bring
them some more coffee. She nodded in appreciation to the young man.  But then again,
she finished,  I'm not really sure of anything anymore.

    I was out of control, Aaron, Kestra told her fiance, and then she added,  My father was
probably rolling in his grave.  Not to mention, Alex.  When did I get this coldhearted?
You're stressing out over the wedding. You've had a lot on your mind.  When it comes
down to it ever since you met me you've had any icy edge, he told her.  She looked up at
him with a small smirk on her face, but Taylor's my sister.  I love her.  Don't  I? Of course
I do.  I mean she's my sister- And I'm repeating myself.  Why couldn't I just apologize and
make things right with her?  Why did I have to be so hateful to her?  We've always had
that kind of annoying retortive relationship, but there's always been the understanding
underneath that-I mean it's never been this bad has it?  It's reached a crescendo that I'm
not sure we can decline from.  I don't think I can fix it.  Why couldn't I just be there for
her.  My whole family is diappointed, hurt.  I don't think she'll forgive me.  She sat back
down by Aaron and he slid his arm  back around her. The wonderful world of royalty, she
said rolling her eyes.   I should be helping her not hurting her.  Giving my life.  Not living
it to destroy hers.  I know how it feels to lose your father after becoming so attached .  I
know how it feels to lose her father.  I don't think she will forgive me. First of all he said
pulling her close to him that sounds nothing like your kid sister to me and second of all
I'm here for you.  Now finish telling me the rest of this story.  Everything is going to turn
out ok.  Or at least as well as possible.

        No, Kestra has a heart she just keeps it tucked away most of the time.  Far, far away
in those memories of the past she likes to cherish so much.  It's been hard for her.  For all
of us really.  The whole family is threatening to tear apart.  Taylor cries herself to sleep at
night,  Kestra seems to be hysterical on the inside, and Deanna.  Well, Deanna's just
wounded it seems.  She knows what's expected of her, admires the lineage she has been
born into, and honestly lives for distractions, I believe.  These are the next leaders of our
world.  Unhappy, machines, being told what to do.  The only one of them that has a love
for it is my "Little One" and I think I'm fixing to lose her, too. 

    Deanna, Will said, closing her book and looking her in the eyes,  You're worrying me.
It's nice that you care, Lieutenant, but...  He interrupted her.  Don't tell me your fine.
Because I know that you're not.  She patted his hand.  You are right of course.  I'm not.
But life isn't a fairy tale.  Princess, he said.  Very funny, she told him.  I have often been
told that I am quite humorous, Miss Troi.  Please tell me you don't have to leave. It's not
that late, Deanna, he answered.  Ever, she said with such promise that he knew the kiss
that followed was eminent.  If I have to be the Princess, she said looking down as if
ashamed that she was leaving her heart so open, Promise to be my night and shining

    Taylor Ashlyn, called Lwaxana from the library when she heard the resounding sound
of the door slamming, Aren't you hungry?  The little princess of  Betazed breathed a sigh
of relief, and although she hated to cause Mr. Homn any trouble she was quite famished.
Yes, mam, but I can get it myself.  Nonsense child.  I thought your heart was broken but
it seems that you've now lost all rationale.  Homn get my baby something to eat.  She
followed the giant manservant into the kitchen, and perched on a seat at the bar.  She
didn't even tell him what she would like to have and somehow always found it before her.
You know, Mr. Homn, you deserve a raise, she said in all sincerty.  He smiled nodding his
head toward her, in his customary manner.  As he bowed to her, turning to leave she
began to make faces behind his back.  I see you, he said in the deep, hollow voice that
was a scarcity in the household and Tayly began to giggle and then burst into laughter as
she heard a chuckle frome him.  She hadn't laughed in over a month.  Gosh it felt good. 

    Deanna, said Riker shaking her, Are you ready to go?  Hmm?, she said stirring a bit.
It's kind of late.  I thought you might want to get home.  She nodded slowly.  I told them
I would lock up so you could get some rest.  Thank you, she told him.  Did I finish
studying  Will laughed.  Your going to ace that test.  What time is it, Deanna inquired.
1100 hours.  She had a glazy look to her young psychology student was maybe half
awake.  Hold on tight, Miss Troi, he said as he picked her up and took her to the
landrover.  She was out the second she hit his arms.

    Lwaxana Troi surveyed the mansion.  Taylor was sleeping soundly in her bedroom with
the balcony doors pushed open to let in the gentle flowing air of the planet, Deanna had
come in about half an hour ago and was dead to the world, and as she approached
Kestra's room she felt a soft whisper on her ears.  Kestra, my beloved one, she said
stepping into the doorway.  She proceeded into the mint green room finding it empty.
Sitting on the bed she picked up the ragged teddybear who was resting against a pillow.
I'm here.  Mother's here for you.

    Will Riker was going through one of Mr. McMillion's old logbooks two learn a little
more about the planet he was temporarily stationed on.  McMillian had actually given
Riker the day to become more acquainted with the beautiful world.  It had taken him quite
a while to read through the logs from the year before and then he came one that caught
his eye.  It was from a few months back and it read, Commander's Log:  I am sad to
report the death of Alexander Eturlet.  He was not only the greatest student of the stars to
ever live and one of the most profound souls that  I have had the privelege of meeting, but
he was one of my closest friends.  He will be missed greatly and his lost will be enormous
to this planet, but he left us his only daughter, perhaps his greatest accomplishment to
carry on.  Betazed will be forever grateful to him.  Thank you, Alex.  Will let out a long
breath and pushed back his chair.  He needed to take a break.

Are you going home today, Aaron asked the eldest daughter of the Troi Family.  I
think so, answered Kestra, you really helped, you know.  He nodded.  This is why I'm so
conceited, she told him.  Oh, no.  I won't let you blame that on me.  She hit his arm.  I
thought you were going to insist that I wan't.  You won't me to lie, he asked with a look
of shock on his face.  He smiled.  Conceited?  Aren't we all occassionally?  In your case I
believe it comes from your mother.  You want me to accompany you to the mansion?  I
think I can manage it on my own.  She kissed him goodbye.  Tell everyone hello for me,
he said as he opened the door for her.  She rolled her eyes in his direction.  Hey, you be
nice, he told her.  I'll think about it, she replied.

    Please tell me you didn't bum around by yourself all weekend Tayly Ashlyn, said
Skylinn.  No, I didn't, she replied.  Good, she told her friend and then she stopped, You
weren't by yourself or you didn't bum around?  I guess you'll never know, she said to the
only other heir to the esteemed Betazoid houses that she was really close to.  I hung
around the house, took a walk, and wrote, maybe.  You don't remember?, she questioned
her friend.  It's all a little hazy, she waved her hands as if trying to make it out.  Ok, fine if
you don't want to let a sister in on..., the emerald eyed girl trailed off.  No, Sky really I
didn't do much, she assured her friend.  Well, mother pushed me off to one of  those
dimplomatic banquet things.  Taylor listened to the events of the night.  She tuned in and
out a bit, knowing that the night really hadn't been very eventful, but then her friend
grabbed her attention.  Afterwards, she said, I was talking with some friends about going
to do something, and if you're ready to date other people, they're guys waiting in lines.
Date other people?  Now there's a thoubght!

    Who's your favorite author lieutenant?  My favorite author, Deanna did you forget
what we were talking about, Riker asked.  She shook her head.  No.  Just tell me.  Riker
thought for a moment.  Hemingway.  Steinbeck, I guess.  She smiled.  Good choices.  He
looked at her expectantly.  Mine was Alex, she told him.  After my father died he would
sit at my bed and tell me stories for hours on end.  He had a story for everything.  He
knew exactly what to say to make my fears disappear, she told him.  He had the biggest
heart of anyone, other than my father, that I had ever met.  You asked me what happened.
How he died?  Well, I usually don't think of that small event as much as how he lived.
And I see his life enduring still through Taylor.  She looked down kicking at some gravel
near her feet.  She was crushed.  You see some terrorists invaded the central building for
some minisicul thing that was basicly for there pleasure and took him away from us.  He
saw a bit of anger flash in her eyes.  They didn't know him.  They didn't know what they
were taking from us, from his little girl.  They hadn't heard his stories or been a part of the
life that had touched so many.  They probably don't even realize what they robbed from us
even now, what they robbed from him.  She sighed and wiped away the tears that had
dripped from her eyes ever so subtly.  It's been about 6 months now.  He gave her the
foundation she needed to make it in this world mother has effortlessly  layed on her
innocent shoulders.  Taylor I mean.  Every time I look at her I see something of
Alexander.  And so do the people of our world, I believe.  So, she said to Will who
looked breathtaken, did I pick up where Mr. McMillian left off.  He shook his head
bringing his index finger to his dimpled chin.  After I read that log I came straight to you.
She grinned.  He spoke lifting the uneasiness in the air.  So how'd your exam go, Riker
asked her.  Really well.  I should study with you more often, she told him as they started
walkilng back down the campus.  I'm up for that.  Though I'm afraid I'm not as
experienced in the study of psychology as you think, he said mock seriously.  She
laughed.  Oh, really.  You could have fooled me.  He shrugged. And your an empath.
What's that say about you?

           The word around school is Brendon thinks your hot stuff, Skylinn told Taylor.
And just who's the word around school, asked Tayly smiling.  The three girls turned
simultaneously to Lily who was sitting on the floor.  Lily grinned.  I have a list, she
announced.  Everyone laughed and Taylor Ashyln covered her face with a pillow.  After a
second she looked up.  Well, read it, she said propping her head up intently.  Bachelor
number one, Lily read to all of their amusement, Nevon Foster.   Tayly blushed slightly,
Nevon, she asked rolling onto her back and staring at the ceiling, hugging the pillow.
Faith watched Taylor as Lily began to the list. Sometimes it was hard for her to imagine
that her best friend would be a future leader of their world.  Top of the line, huh, Skylinn
told her. Go on Lillian, she said, motioning her friend along.  Lily fired a silly look in her
direction.  Thomas.  Taylor shook her head.  Yuck n' a half.   Gavin.  That brought the
smile back to her face. Wes.  Tayly turned back over, facing them.  I thought he was
going out with Destiny.  Taylor Ashlyn, said Lily, you know they broke up.  Oh, right, she
said casting a look to Faith.  Her friend supressed a giggle as Lily continued.  Sklinn
grinned.  Grason.  Brant. And the list went on and on and on.

    Kestra Alexis Troi glided into the family mansion with her usual smirk painted on.
Kestra, my Darling One, she heard her mother say.  You're speaking to me, she sent back.
No, my dear I'm thinking to you, was her mother's reply.  Kestra shook her head.  Can't
see how I missed that one, she thought.  Lwaxana ignored the remark.  The conflict is
between you and your sister.  I will not come between my daughters, she told the heir to
the Fifth House of Betazed. Yes, mother, she said respectfully, Do I have any messages?
Possibly, the little light on the computer screen is blinking, Lwaxana told her.  Kestra
rolled her eyes up toward the magnificent ceiling overhead and smiled slightly at the
regality in the air.  It felt rather nice to be home.

     Smile. Walk into the school.  I am totally happy.  Completely extatic.  I love myself.  I
love  I love my friends, Taylor began mumbling as she approached the double
doors that led into the renound high school.  She glanced over at the tree she'd been
writing under a few days earlier.  10 feet to the left stood a boy talking quite candidly with
the girl.  She stood there for an instant admiring the boy from afar, and then he turned
slightly, carefree as usual, casually brushing his hand through his hair.  Taylor Ashlyn
smiled slightly glancing around him to the girl seated on the bench.  She rushed through
the doors and marched straight through the commons, which was filled with people.  She
breezed through them, there attention being stolen by her the moment she'd graced  them.
It was instatainious.  Like almost always.  The room was silent for a moment as there eyes
followed her and then a low buzz of questioning whispers sounded as there ears heard the
most shrilled, audible scream that they could have imagined.  Taylor emerged from the
bathroom with a confident smile on her face.  Much better, they heard her say as she
headed toward her friends, That definitely felt very good.


Deanna, have you ever been to earth, Riker asked the lovely woman walking next to
him.  Deanna shook her head.  No, I haven't, but my father was born there.  He was a
Statfleet Officer.  Really, asked the lieutenant, I wish I could have met him.  She smiled
up at him appreciatively as they walked  along a path close to Lake Cateria.  She playfully
swung her hand, which was entwined with his.  My mother would probably go crazy if
she knew I left school to come here with you today.  Riker looked at her with a
mischevious grin on his face. She was positively glowing.  With all due respect Deanna I
don't really care if your mother has any protests because you're glowing.  I haven't seen
you this happy since I've been here.  Not that I've been here for that long.  She laughed.
True.  Do you miss him, Deanna? Your father, I mean?  She smiled again which was a
contrast to the bit of sadness in her dark eyes.  Yes, she said looking up at the tall trees
and the beautiful sky.  The day was perfect.  He died when I was seven, and although
Alexander was there as I was growing up.  I still miss him.  It's become a dull kind of ache
in my heart.  When I'm alone sometimes in my room, I can still here the faint sound of his
voice singing my favorite lullaby at night.  My mother died when I was 2, he said, I miss
her most when I'm around my Father.  I take it the two of you don't het along, she
commented.  You got it, he said.  So, he continued changing the subject, Alex is Taylor's
father and you n' Kestra have a different father.  That's right.  After my father died,
mother remarried to Alexander.  Kestra was 15 and I was almost 8.  Almost a year later
Taylor Ashlyn was born.  And Alexander was a Betazoid, he assumed.  Yes, and highly
esteemed in our society, of course.  And it is also why Taylor has rated so high on the
telepathic scale.  Not that Kestra and I are shabby by any means, she finished.  I should
say not, he commented as they reached the lake. She led him to a lovely spot in the grass
next to the water and sat down.  She leaned back onto his shoulder enjoying the bright
blue mirror of the lake and the gorgeous scenery around her.  Most of all she enjoyed the
company she was keeping.  She wished it could be this way forever.  She was relaxed and
happy.  Her own emotional health was becoming better than it ever had before, but she
wasn't thinking in that frame of mind. For once, Deanna Elizabeth Troi had more blissful
and certainly more charming things to think of.

    Taylor, said a vaguely familiar voice as she turned the corner.  Taylor stopped turning
to match that voice with the face of its owner.  He was a tall sandy brown headed boy
with whom in past meetings she'd been simply acquainted with.  What was that a nine on
the richter scale?  She smiled nodding her head as she related the comment to what had
happened earlier.  I had a few things I needed to air out.  He laughed.  Mind if I walk you
to your next class, he asked.  I would be delighted, she said.  Good, he told her, because I
don't think I could withstand another one of those "airing outs" of yours.  She smiled as
they rounded the corner, I believe I've gotten all of that out of my system.

    Taylor walked into the Troi mansion a few steps behind her sister, Deanna, who was
looking at some material laying over the living room sofa.  A woman stood nearby
answering Deanna's questions and giving her information about the materials.  Taylor 
Lwaxana Troi glided up to her youngest daughter with a smile on her face.  A woman is
here to design your dress for your sister's wedding.  We're not replicating one, she asked
as Mr. Homn took away her books.  Heaven's no my dear, honestly, I think that high
school is corrupting you.  I thought she was having a traditional wedding, Taylor said. 
And you want to go naked to the reception as well, I assume.  Taylor gave a look of sheer
disgust before shoving a smile on her face and heading into the living room.  The designer
had gone to the other side of the room to retrieve something for Deanna and returned to
see the youngest heir to the Fifth House throne discussing a few designs with her sister.
Did you have a specific color in mind, she asked smiling.  Something in black would be
nice, Tayly said nonchalantly to the woman in front of her.  She'll take this one in
lavender, said Deanna quickly shoving it toward the seemstress,  and I'd like that one in

    Cmdr. McMillian looked over at the young officer standing comfortably against the
wall of the corridor.  Walk with me, Lt., he said guesturing to his colleague.   How's your
day going, Will?  He asked.  Fine, sir, Riker replied, I wanted to talk to you about
something.  Yes, I got your message.  What's up?  McMillian inquired.  I was talking to
Deanna earlier. . ., he began.  Deanna Troi, said Andrew, You've been spending a lot of
time with her lately, haven't you lieutenant?  Riker nodded with a broad grin on his face.
She's quite a lovely girl. I just hope you know what you're getting yourself into.  Will let
out a small chuckle, knowing full well what McMillian was speaking of.  It was quite an
extravegant family to become involved with.  Oh, I think I can handle it, he said
confidently, yet causually to the officer next to him.  That's what they all say, was the only
comment the Lt. received, Did you finish those log entries I suggested you read?  Riker
had listened to his commanding officer's caution, and tried to think of the best way to
approach the tender subject he had read about.  Yes, Will answered to the opening, that's
what I wanted to talk to you about. I read an entry from a couple months back about
Deanna's stepfather.  She told me about what happened, and I. . . McMillian interrupted
Riker with a smile,  Let's go get some coffee lieutenant.  There is nothing I would rather
do than talk to you about Alex.

      Deanna Troi walked into the living room trying to clasp her pearl necklace around her
neck.  Her baby sister was sitting on the couch, her knees pulled under her chin.  The
curtains on the ceiling to floor picture window had been pulled back and the setting sun
was beating through.  Taylor looked up at her sister, Can I help you with that?  No, I've
got it, she replied through a mouth of food.  What are you eating, Deanna?  Tayly
inquired.  Chocolate fudge brownie, she told the doe eyed teen popping the last bite into
Taylor's mouth.  Deanna heard the door chime and grabbed her drape as she swallowed
the last bit of brownie.  It's not him, Taylor thought.  I knew that, Deanna said quickly, I
was just getting a little chilly.  Taylor Ashlyn laughed.  That just made my day, said Dee.
They had both heard Kestra answer the door and they now turned as they heard her
footfall on the hardwood floors.  She caught Deanna's eye before she could disclose the
glance, They're from Aaron, she said, Two dozen.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Yes, very
lovely, Deanna told her.  Very beautiful, Tayly added good heartedly as Kestra headed
back out of the room.  Deanna shoved her arm toward Taylor and Tayly began to fix the
bracelet around her wrist.  Why didn't you tell her? She thought.  Tell her what?  Taylor
asked innocently.  Oh, come on.  Lavendar roses.  There may not have been a card. . . If it
makes her happy let her have them, Dee.  Deanna shook her head and kissed her sister
goodbye.  You're too good for this family, she told her and headed down the hall.


Less than 10 minutes had passed after Deanna left with the Lt., and already the
doorbell was chiming again.  Well, if it isn’t my favorite sister-in-law to be, said the young
man as he walked into the Troi home. Taylor smiled, giving him a hug.  Where’s that
sister you adore so much, he inquired of her.  Oh, I’m sure she’s around here somewhere,
she replied as Kestra hurried through the doorway.  Aaron, she said greeting him with a
small kiss, Thank you for the flowers.  They’re gorgeous.  Aaron looked a bit confused.
Table, Tayly sent quickly, Just go with it.  You’re welcome, sweetheart, he said outloud ,
I thought you would like them.  Thanks, Taylor heard him send back to her as Kestra led
him away babbling details about the wedding, Oh, and Tayly, patio--just go with it.

    How are things on the frontline?  Will asked Deanna as they were escorted to their
table.  Quiet, she told him as she sat at the seat he had pulled out for her.  Will sat down
across from Deanna.  Is that a good sign?  He asked her.  I’m not sure yet.  She replied.  I
would really rather not discuss it.  He smiled.  Ooh, is the couselor shying away from her
emotions again.  No, she answered, I just thought. . .Well, I would really just love to
enjoy the night with you, Lieutenant.  In that case. . .You look beautiful tonight, Deanna,
he told her, kissing her hand as he held it.   Much better, she said, So Mr. Riker what do
you know of Betazed delicacies?  Absolutely nothing.  I am totally at your discretion,
Miss Troi.  She grinned.  Oh, how I love the sound of that.

    Tayly pushed down the latch that opened the door to the terrace.  She had been almost
certain she knew who would be waiting for her, and she had been slightly hesitant to go to
him.  The lavendar roses had been a sweet guesture, and it had hit her like a dagger to the
soul.  Then, she had given then them to Kestra.  She chastised herself in annoyance.  Well,
at least I won’t have to stare at them in my room, making myself miserable.  Just then the
sense of the person had hit her, and she saw him through the glass.  It was the boy that
had so gallantly offered her his arm in the hallway.  She squared her shoulders,
straightening her back and lifting her aristocratic little chin, walked through the doors and
into the warmth of the sun.

    So I thought the bridesmaids would carry tulips or white roses or maybe peach. . . what
do you think, Aaron?  Kestra asked her husband to be.  She had been talking nonstop
since he had gotten there, and Aaron knew she really didn’t have much interest in
anything she was babbling about.  In fact, Kestra Alexis Troi had held a picture of what
their wedding would be like since before he had even proposed to her.  A very detailed
picture, and that if she was going to change anything about the glorioius day it probably
would have had to be done weeks ago.  I think if you would talk this thing out with her
you would be surprised.  I mean this is Taylor we’re talking about.  She’s not even
capable of holding a grudge for more than five minutes.  I meant what do you think about
the flowers. . .the wedding?  Does any of this ring a bell with you?  Don’t play games with
me, Kes.  I know you too well.  You’ve had the bridesmaid’s flowers picked out for
months now.  She turned, looking out of the library window.  I feel like I’ve betrayed him
somehow.  You feel like you’ve betrayed who sweetheart?  he asked her.  Alex, she said
quietly, I feel like I’ve betrayed Alex, Aaron.

   This is a pleasant surprise, said Tayly as she crossed in front of the boy seated at the
patio table.  She sat in the chair across from him, one that slightly resembled a throne.
Her hands were held in her lap, her shoulders were squared, and her smile genuine.
Would you like something to drink, she inquired.  I could get Mr. Homn . . .  No thank
you he said, shaking his head.  What, she asked.  Nothing, he said to her.  It’s just that
Well, this place is incredible, and you. . .well you are so beautiful.  Taylor felt her face
growing warm, and she knew her cheeks must be showing some small shade of pink.
Thank you, she replied.  Well, I just meant it is a privilege to be in your presence Miss
Troi.  She laughed softly.  Likewise, Mr. Meadows.  Shall we take a walk?  She said to
him.  He nodded.  I hear you have some lovely gardens here at Casa Troi, he said lightly.
Really?  She said to him a look of annticipation on her face.  I’m not sure I’ve ever delved
that far into this place.  He laughed as she, looped her arm through his, and led him
toward the path that went led the rose garden.

    No, I won’t hear of it, said Mrs. Troi staring at her daughter.