By Clare Holborow
The second in command of the USS Enterprise-E sat with his head in his hands with sheer exasperation. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, he looked across the conference lounge table at the annoying Ferangi sat opposite him.
Look, just tell me where you found this artifact. He said tiredly.
I cant. Replied Zoal with a characteristic Ferangi grin.
Riker sighed, for the thousandth time since the beginning of the interrogation. They had apprehended the Ferangi in his little vessel after an anonymous message advising Starfleet that he carried a weapon that was reputed to have legendary powers.
He realised that the Ferangi would not tell him anything unless he received something in return, and wondered - or rather dreaded what it could be. All right Zoal, what do you want?
The Ferangi looked rather thoughtful, and was about to tell the Starfleet Officer that he didnt want anything, when the security guards moved away from the door to allow someone through. A smile quickly overtook his face as he saw a female colleague of Rikers enter. He made his thoughts quite obvious with a gasp followed by an appreciative moan.
Deanna Troi sat down next to Riker, ignoring the Ferangis looks and smiles. She found him very repulsive, well someone she would not like to get too close to at any rate.
She could tell that Riker had not been blessed with much success on finding out where Zoal had discovered the ancient Vulcan relic that had been missing for millennia.
Zoal smiled at Riker, showing his disgusting uneven teeth. I want her.
Deanna looked extremely worried, and wished she had not come into the room when she had. But she knew the Ferangi could be bargained with, and as Riker looked at her with concern, she stood up to Zoal. I am not on offer here. Either you tell us here and now, or we will have to turn you over to the various authorities.
Zoal continued to look at the Betazoid with a twisted look of desire on his ugly features. I have no fear of anyone. He said. The only way you will get the information from me is to spend the rest of your life pleasing me. His tone made it clear that he thought there was nothing wrong with his plan.
Deanna remembered that Ferangi females were submissive, and werent even allowed to wear clothes. She knew there would be another way to get the information and almost laughed at the horror she felt from Will at the Ferangis words.
Riker touched her arm before she could reply. Wouldnt some nice gold latinum be better?
Will! She exclaimed.
No........ He replied, not taking his eyes from the empath. I still want her - shes only one officer, surely you can spare her.
Deanna was getting angry, she hated to be leered at by anyone, especially by someone like Zoal. She calmed herself down, knowing that shouting at him would not achieve anything. Im sorry Zoal, its not the way we do things around here. She finally managed to say, albeit through clenched teeth.
She was not the only one attempting to fight her anger - Riker felt the same feelings stirring within him. He had to do something to stop the Ferangi thinking about Deanna.
He continued to offer things he thought might persuade him to reconsider the bargain, but Zoal refused each one, claiming he wanted Deanna for his own.
Ive had enough of this. Will said. I didnt think it was worth mentioning before. He said, putting his arm around Deanna. She flinched slightly at his unexpected touch as he explained simply. Deanna is my wife, and you can not have her under any circumstances.
Troi smiled, feeling instantly comfortable with the idea and his embrace.
Deanna kissed him quickly, a bonus he had not considered. I love him, and I couldnt even think of being with any one else, not even for an hour. She said.
The Ferangi looked disappointed only for a moment. Well, have you got any other women on this ship?
Will and Deanna both laughed.
What? What are you laughing at? He demanded.
Picard to Commander Riker. Came the Captains voice over the intercom system before either could reply.
Number One, Data and Geordi have finished their analysis of the artifact, and found it to be a cleverly made fake of the original. It seems we have sorted out this little mystery. You may return our guest to the Brig.
Aye Sir. He said, with more than a little relief.
The security guards promptly took the protesting Ferangi away. Deanna turned to smile again at Riker. Your wife? Was that a proposal Sir?
Maybe. He replied mysteriously. She sensed that the whole idea had been more deeply rooted than she first thought.
Then I accept. She continued, just to see his reaction.
He looked a little surprised that she hadnt let the subject go, and had a sneaking suspicion that part of her was serious. The Ferangi does have good taste in women though - there was a time when I wouldve given anything to keep her with me. He admitted silently.
He had to know if she was serious, recently they had been spending a lot more time together and felt their friendship had been growing. He wanted to tell her that his thoughts had been filled with her over the past few weeks, but instead he questioned her. Really?
If you were serious about the question, then Im serious about accepting. She was unsure about getting back together with him, she had to know he felt the same way. She looked away, then suddenly back into his eyes with an intensity that made him realise she was about to say something that had been on her mind for a while. Im not imagining the feelings weve both been having recently am I? I know Im still in love with you, and I think you feel the same. She waited for his answer eagerly.
Youre right. He admitted. I do love you.
She felt like screaming with happiness as he drew her close and whispered in her ear. Be mine Imzadi, I promise I wont hurt you again. Id rather die. Then he kissed her slowly and sweetly. They hadnt kissed like that since that memorable night of passion after a poker game one night, but this kiss was so much better. It was filled with promise and love and tenderness that went with the beginning of a romance that was destined to last forever.
They continued for what seemed like eternity. Deanna was basking in the feelings of love and desire she felt from him and from within herself. She broke off the kiss for a moment, and she knew that he wanted her there and then. She called out a command to the computer, preventing anyone interrupting them, then to her Imzadis delight smiled seductively and pulled him down towards her.
Nine months later, Deanna gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who was conceived
that night in the conference lounge. Will was so proud of her, and adored his
baby daughter almost as much as his beautiful wife.