Paramount has it all
Setting: Sometime after First contact
Warning for sexual content. Not an NC-17, but probably close enough to warrant a warning.
Beverly Crusher squinted her eyes against the Risian sun and scanned the shoreline. After a few moments, she spotted her target and quickly skipped across the blistering sand until she found relief standing on the oversized beach blanket next to Deanna Troi.
Until she felt the annoying prickle of sand cast upon her back from her
friend's hasty arrival, Deanna for the most part had been daydreaming;
fantasizing about a certain rugged looking volleyball player that had captured
her attention untold minutes ago.
She had first spotted him strolling the waterfront, a towel neatly rolled under one arm and a volleyball in the other, he was in search of the perfect spot to lay his perfect form down. Or so she assumed. But the longer it took him to decide on a place, the more she understood he was...showing off. Strutting the shoreline as if to say 'okay ladies, which one of you wants '*this*'.
The sunglasses she wore served a two-fold purpose. The first one was obvious
as the sun's rays reflected off the water. The second reason she just
discovered; while appearing to look straightahead, she was able to stare at this
man's hardened body while stll maintaining the Starfleet-required
Demure? Ha!...she was feeling anything but. The only thing she was feeling at the moment was a needful desire burning deep within, a desire to have that man touch her body in a certain place that ached for attention.
He created a ripple effect as he continued his walk. Women's heads would turn his way and follow as he would pass. And Deanna watched their lingering gazes with revered awe as she felt the same feelings she was feeling, ached the same ache they did...only, she could laugh. And laugh she did; at her own sense of incredible arrogance as she knew, without a doubt, that she would be the one whom he would leave with. She would be the one whose body would succomb to his ministrations; feel his hands roam every square inch of her, feel his mouth giving attention to that certain place, be the one to have his delectable body lay next to her...within her.
As he closed in to her direction, he pretended to not notice the Betazoid who was undoubtedly reading his every thought, and layed his towel down a few meters away. And because this little charade, ordered by Starfleet to gain information on illegal drug trafficing, required a bit of undercover work, she was able to fulfill a fantasy she had dreamed years about. One that she never had the courage to tell even Will. So secretly, as the game played out...so did her fantasy.
"Anthing yet?" Beverly kneeled down and helped Deanna wipe away some of the sand that was inadvertently kicked upon the empaths back.
"No. But I see Will is getting to know the players." Beverly followed Deanna's gaze to the volleyball game that was beginning just a short distance away. Will was shaking his lone teammate's hand just before he gathered up the ball to serve.
"Somehow, they don't look so menacing without their clothes on," Beverly said, then quickly added, "Well, I mean, with just their bathing suits on."
"According to Starfleet, they're cold-blooded murders. With or without their clothes." Deanna lowered her glasses to the tip of her nose and watched Will's body stretch out for the serve.
"And how is it that we got saddled with this job? Can't Risian officials take care of their own problem?"
"They would have until two Starfleet shuttle pilots were killed. Then it became our problem."
"Now tell me again why me, a Starfleet doctor, got to go undercover for this wonderful mission? Hell, I wasn't even there for the mission briefing!"
"Its all luck, I guess," Deanna smiled. "Actually, the captain was afraid that Will would fall victim to some sort of initiation process involving the drugs in question. He wanted you here just in case."
Beverly leaned back onto her elbows and tried to relax. Having immediately beamed down to the surface without much of a briefing, she couldn't quite find this as exciting as her friend. "So are you going to tell me what we are to do, or do I get to play it by ear?"
Deanna's face grimmaced as she watched Will dive head first into the sand for the ball. He came up spitting, but otherwise look even more handsome as the sand caught against his sweaty chest. "Oh, right," she reluctantly pulled her eyes away to look at the doctor. "Will makes friends with the alleged dealers. I get introduced into the group at a later time since Will is supposed to look like a loner with no attachments."
"So he gets to play himself," Beverly joked. "So tell me again, what I'm supposed to do."
"Watch our backs."
"Thats it? Watch your backs? I really think Worf would have been better suited for this, not me!"
"I know...I know," Deanna shook her head. "I thought about that as well. Will did too. He voiced his concern to the Admiral Paris more than once, but Captain Picard's hands were tied with other obligations. Sorry to say, but you were the only one left that he felt he could afford off the ship right now."
"Well that makes me feel wanted," Beverly sighed and looked long and hard at Deanna. 'You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Whatever gave you that idea?" Deanna pulled her glasses down once again and gave her friend a wink.
Beverly shook her head in mock disbelief and slumped completely down to the sand. "Just tell me when I have to do something."
Deanna turned her attention back to the game. "Oh don't worry, I will."
"Who's winning?" Beverly sat up and looked over to the volleyball game. And after seconds passed with no response, she waved a hand infront of her counterpart's face. "Hello...Deanna! Enterprise to Troi!"
Deanna grinned, but never removed her eyes from the match. "You know...I don't really know. I think maybe Will's team. I guess it doesn't really matter anyway, just as long as he gets in with them."
"This whole thing still has me on edge. I can't believe we're here playing detective when the Enterprise is in drydock. There was plenty of things I could have been doing there. I'm afraid to see what they'll do to my sickbay while I'm gone!"
"Look on the brightside, Bev...its kind of like a vacation."
"Trying to find out who is dealing illegal drugs to the Dominion, is not my idea of a vacation!"
"Oh, I don't know...this mission has it's...perks." Deanna smiled again as she watched Will running to retrieve the ball.
Beverly followed her gaze. "Okay, I've got to ask...I've noticed you ogling the commander since I got here which leads me to believe something is going on between you two. Now are you going to tell me, or do I have to make assumptions?"
"There is nothing to assume, Beverly. I'm just...enjoying the view, thats all."
"Oh yes, I forgot. This is just you and he playing your little game."
This time Deanna turned and looked at the doctor. "What do mean 'little game'?"
"You dance around each other, flirt outrageously, and then pretend nothing is going on. Its nothing but a game that neither of you will ever win." Beverly relaxed back down to the blanket, proud that she was finally able to disclose her private revelation.
Deanna opened her mouth to speak but clamped it shut tightly when she
realized the truth that she spoke. It was a game, just as it appeared to
everyone; everyone of course, except for the players.
The truth was, she and Will had been sleeping together ever since they returned from Earth's twenty-first century just two weeks ago. And because it never appeared to be the right time to announce to the crew that their relationship had taken a turn, they continued on behind closed doors.
But as days went by, Deanna found it increasingly hard to keep her hands off the commander while amongst their colleagues. Luckily for the lovers, the crew was so busy with repairs that not one single person noticed the way they held hands in the turbolift, or the way her foot would caress his calf during dinner, or the way he would look at her after a long stressful shift.
It all went unnoticed.
Deanna pulled her knees up to her chest and held them lightly as she
recalled the first night after the crew returned to the Enterprise. Will had
finally managed to catch a break and was headed to his quarters for a meal.
Their deck had been fortunate to not have suffered any damage during the
attempted assimilation, but Ten Forward however was a disaster. Meaning, if you
wanted to eat, you had to find a working replicator in someone's quarters. And
right then, Deanna's room was being shared by three other woman who not
only needed a hot meal, but also a place to sleep. And being the gracious woman
that she was, she offered up her place.
As she stepped from the lift car, she spotted Will walking through his door and wondered if he too was as gracious to offer his living area. With curiosity getting the better of her as she neared is door, she paused briefly before she lifted her hand to enter his security code. The next split second as the doors opened, a horrifying thought occured to her, What if he was sharing with women as well? Afterall, it wouldn't be unlike him to be in the company of more than one young female ensign.
Wishing desperately that she had never used his private code to enter, she stood motionless in the doorway; afraid to walk in, afraid to run. But then she heard his gentle voice asking her to enter, and she bravely took a few steps in so that the doors closed.
"I'm sorry to just barge in, Will. I don't know why I did that." She glanced around in the darkened cabin looking for any signs that she was an unwelcomed guest. Spying his uniform jacket as the only misplaced piece of clothing in the otherwise immaculate living area, she let out a long slow breath.
"Its all right. You know I don't mind." Will walked from his bedroom carrying a fresh jacket in one hand and a black t-shirt in the other. Deanna smiled inwardly at his casualness and faught the urge to stare at his broad chest.
"Tired of your guests already?" she heard him ask.
"Uh...not really. I haven't spent but a few minutes in my cabin anyway." She took a seat in one of the oversized chairs near the center of the room. "I just stopped by to see how you are dealing with all the chaos."
He tossed the clothing down on a chair and stood before the replicator. "Okay, I guess." He shrugged his shoulders. "Glad to be home."
"Thats good to hear." She stood to leave. "Well, I had better go. I'm sure Beverly needs some help."
She stopped in mid-stride but did not turn to face him. "Yes?"
"Whens the last time you've eaten?"
Finally rotating around, she caught him as he pulled the t-shirt down over his head. She started to answer but then realized she couldn't remember when she really had eaten last.
"Come. Have dinner with me. I'm sure Beverly won't mind you taking a little break."
Before she knew it, her feet began to walk toward the table and she was quickly and firmly planted in a chair. "Thanks," was all she managed to get out before she watched him wince as he continued to get dressed. With every movement his shoulders made, his face contorted into a god-awful look. "Are you hurt?"
She could tell he was slightly embarassed at having her witness his pain. "Not exactly. I think its just my body telling me I'm not the young bull I used to be. I moved one too many beams in engineering today."
Without hesitation, or without thinking, she moved behind him and slid his jacket off his arms. Motioning for him to sit, she began massaging his shoulders and neck with powerful fingers, kneading the soreness away.
"That feels incredible," he moaned and lowed his chin to his chest, giving her ample room to use her aquired technique.
Something happened after her hands moved down his back because the next thing she could remember was the powerful strokes he was applying to her as they layed across the dining table, with the remainder of the evening utterly and completely lost in a swirl of passion.
Deanna wiped an annoying drop of sweat away before it slipped beneath her bathing suit top. "I think I'm going for a swim. Wanna come?"
Beverly shook her head. "You go. I'll ogle the commander for you while you're gone." She turned to her side and faced the volleyball game.
Deanna frowned for a moment before adding, "As soon as he is ready for us to make our move, he is supposed to kick the ball our way as a signal."
"Oh great. Then what? He invites us to play?"
"No. I pretend to be interested in him in order to gain our acceptance into their little group. Then I get to be the one to figure out who the leader and who their supplier is."
"Ooooooo. Lucky you," Beverly quipped.
"Yes. Well...you get the hard part after that. If we get into trouble, you're our only hope for escape."
"Why not, I mean...aren't all Starfleet doctors traind for rescue operations?" she said sarcasticly then turned back to face the game.
Deanna put one foot on the hot sand and before she began to run toward the water, she quickly said, "just as much as counselors are trained for drug enforcement!"
It was the sharp coolness of the water against her heated skin that finally
managed to bring her passion-filled mind back to reality. After all, this really
was an away mission; even if it entailed spending time on a gorgeous beach and
watching a certain commander whom she found breathlessly attractive, play
volleyball. She had a job to do, and danger was but a wrong decision away.
There was a lot that could go wrong, Deanna knew.
Most noteably, should someone recognize Will Riker. Granted, it had been
years since his last shorleave to this pleasure planet, but she also knew that
he tended to make an impression wherever he went. And judging by some of the
looks he was getting from other females, she would not have been too far
off base to assume that his legendary prowess definitly left its mark.
With a sudden intake of breath, Deanna dove beneath the surface of the crystal blue water, unwilling to think about what might happen should these dealers find out that Will was an undercover Starfleet officer.
Almost as if he had been playing the game his whole life, Will stretched his long body up into the air and gave a pummelling spike to the ball, sending it splashing to the sand just inside the baseline.
"Match point!" his team-mate yelled and served the ball for an ace, clenching the win for he and Will. "Not bad for someone who claims to never play the game." He smacked the back of Will's shoulder making him grimmace at both the sting from of his raw sunburned skin and the muscle soreness.
"Yeah, well I'm sure my body will never forgive me when I try to get out of bed in the morning."
From earlier introductions, Will glanced over at the losing team and regarded the players. Both men were young, too young he thought, to be involved in a scheme like this. His partner seemed to be the oldest, but not by but a couple of years.
"Hey old man!" It was Antral screaming from the other side of the net. "Wanna have a rematch?"
Will smiled and shook his head. "No thanks. I've got a transport run I've gotta make tonight." He watched all three men look at one another. He guessed his little bit of new information would peek their interest.
"You work for a company?" Ghrafton, his team-mate, asked.
"Yep. Mine." Will answered and took a giant gulp of water from a bottle.
"You fly alone?
"Depends on what you call attachments. If you mean do I have other obligations other than myself, no." Will answered. "I'm in it for the money. That's my attachment. The more I make now, the sooner I can retire," he threw his arms wide, "and live here with all the beautiful women a guy could ever want." Will happened to glance at the shoreline and catch Deanna emerging from the water's edge. She shook her head to rid herself of the excess water then caught his stare. It was time.
Antral and Ghrafton looked at the third man, Isaac, who was astutely looking at Will. Following his eyes, he too saw the woman that had caught this newcomer's attention. "You travel alone?" Isaac asked.
"Thats depends too," Riker answered, never taking his eyes off his imzadi. "I've been known to take a few female guests along with for the ride." His mouth twisted into a broad grin as she met his eyes.
The men gave a throaty chuckle, and once again, it was Isaac who spoke, "So, what...money and women...thats all you care about?"
Will sobered up and faced Isaac, noticing for the first time how icy cold his eyes looked. "What else is there?"
Grafton slapped Will on the back and walked away laughing, leaving Antral and Isaac alone with Will. "What's your cargo?"
"Whatever I can get." He once again looked to Deanna with a lascivious leer and kicked the ball toward the blanket where she was now laying with Beverly. "Now, if you'll excuse me gentlemen, I have a ball to retrieve."
Will wanted to leave them hanging, thirsty for more information. It was obvious it wouldn't be long now before they asked him to carry their cargo.
Beverly was the first one to see him approaching. Nudging Deanna, she whispered softly, "Hunk-alert...five o'clock high."
Feeling a shadow cast over her body, Deanna smiled and looked up. "You're standing in my sun...do you mind?" she said as cold as she possibly could. According to Will, she was to try and play 'less than hard to get'. But that didn't mean she couldn't have a little fun first.
Will held the ball under one arm and half-way considered bouncing it off her head in jest. But in the best interest of this mission...and his sex life, he quickly abolished that thought. "Ladies. Mind if I join you?"
Without waiting for an answer, Will kneeled down between the women and layed on his stomach. "Ahhhh, this...is the life." He faced Deanna but leaned his head on Crusher's shoulder.
"Riker," Beverly growled under her breath, "you're getting sand all over the blanket!"
Will propped himself up on his elbows then smiled at Beverly. "I always knew you loved me."
She continued on in her soft, rebuking growl, "I've put you back together, and I can take you apart, Will Riker." She shrugged and knocked him away.
Deanna laughed and sat up. "So, I take it you've laid the bait."
Will looked around Deanna and saw Isaac walking their way. "Mmhmm. Here comes the rat now."
Moments later, Isaac stood above the blanket and looked approvingly at the women. "So, is this your cargo, Riker?" he said smiling.
Riker looked first to Crusher, and then to Troi. "Entertainment," he grinned. "Is there something I can help you with, Isaac?" He sat up and leaned over Deanna's outstretched body and whispered, "you're kinda ruining my pick-up."
Isaac looked apologetic as one man looking to another could only do, and whispered back. "Come see me when you're, uh...finished. I have a business oppurtunity to discuss with you."
Riker smiled again and nodded before he layed back down, running a hand up Beverly's thigh as he did so.
Crusher watched the younger man leave then belted Riker in the gut. "Ow!"
"Entertainment?" Beverly snarled.
"I thought you explained this to her?" He looked to Deanna for support while still holding his stomach.
Deanna's lip twitched until she could no longer hold back the grin that threatened to break free. "I guess I left out the part about you flirting with the both of us."
"No. No, you didn't. You told me. Just tell him to keep his paws to himself and we'll all be fine." Beverly punctuated her statement with a curt enigmatic grin.
Deanna brushed some sand off of Will's back. "You really should wash off, Will. The water will feel good."
"I will. Believe me, I've got sand in places I'd hate to discuss among women."
"Thats never stopped you before," Beverly's jibe solicited an amused grin from Deanna and a look of annoyance from Will. Beverly stood, "I'm going back to the hotel. When you guys figure out what I'm to do...let me know."
Will frowned. "What's up with her?"
"I think she's rather angry that she was ordered on this mission. She'd rather be back on the Enterprise helping to repair her sickbay."
"Wouldn't we all. But we were given a job, and I intend on finishing it. It won't be much longer anyway before they tell us who their supplier is. These guys don't seem very smart. Their too damn young to be doing this."
Deanna sensed Will's genuine concern for the young men. "Its a lucretive business. When faced with what may appear to be an easy way to gain wealth, one tends to overlook the consequences."
"I know. Its still a damn shame though." Will looked back over his shoulder and saw Isaac staring at him. "Okay. Time to play. You know what to do, right?"
Deanna bit her bottom lip and began to trail a finger along his chest in a slow, circular pattern. "Uh huh."
Will shivered at the touch of her delicate motion and one look at her eyes caused him to think twice about standing up. "Dea," he whispered, "why do I get the idea that this is exciting to you?"
A soft, somewhat erotic chuckle came on her exhale. "I think, imzadi...its exciting to you."
Will grasped the hand that now lay flat against his chest and laced his fingers through hers. "Lets go before the whole beach gets a treat," he said and pulled her up with him.
And yes, even Aristocratic.
These were but a few of the names Deanna Troi had heard herself descibed as being. And having the position she did, Counselor/Commander of the Federation flagship USS Enterprise, there weren't a lot of times that she could be anything but.
Oh sure, there were moments when she allowed herself to unwind, to let her
hair down, so to speak. But those times were always behind close doors. Never in
Well, save for the recent incident with Zephram Cochrane. Thank goodness it was Will who had found her slumped over the bar; one hand holding her head up, the other holding a glass of alcohol. Had it been any other crewmember, she would have been mortified.
While she chose to forget the entire thing ever happened, Will rationalized the incident as being 'mission required'. And when she questioned whether or not him cradling her in his arms the entire time she slept off her alcoholic stupor as being 'mission required', he merely shrugged his shoulders and smiled the smile of a man in love. It was at that moment she decided to throw caution to the wind; to follow her feelings, to behave the way she wanted to behave without care as to how it would appear to others.
To hell with the definitions others had ascribed to her. She was Deanna Troi, still committed to her duty as Counselor/Commander of the Federation flagship USS Enterprise but more importantly now, she was the committed lover of one Commander William Riker.
And this lover had a fantasy.
She smiled as Will gripped her hand tightly as he led them to meet with Isaac.
Once upon a time, she had allowed herself the pleasure of having unbridled,
completely unrestrained, hot, erotic sex in a jungle with the man that now
stood next to her. Will allowed her to experiment, to be the one in control. She
was the aggressor and he the defender. Not that he put up that much defense,
mind you. But nevertheless, it was the only time in her life that she was
given that kind of authority.
So in this fantasy, her own private little dream...did she endeavor to regain her position of authority.
And this away mission would provide the perfect scenario, for such a fantasy to become reality.
"So what could I do for you, Isaac?" Deanna heard Will ask. Though
her empathic ability was tuned into the young men, her body was tuned into Will.
Pressing herself up against him, her hands continued to play with the soft hairs
of his chest and she could only hope that it wouldn't be too much of a
distraction for him.
Afterall, this was his idea. And who was she to argue?
Isaac gave a questioning look to the woman plastered to Will's side. The commander knew it was going to take a little persuasion to get him to talk infront of Deanna. "Don't worry boys...as much as I'm paying her, I guarantee she'll not remember a thing. Isn't that right, darling?"
Deanna looked up at him and gave him the most wry smile she could. "I have a terrible short term memory problem," she moaned and went back to work.
"See? Nothing to worry about," Will said.
Isaac still looked slightly uncomfortable and shifted nervously where he stood. "How far are you going?"
"Rigel Nine, tonight. You got something you need delivered?" He grinned when Deanna began to tease his jawline with soft wet kisses.
Antral and Ghrafton stood watching the women's ministrations. Empathic ability was certainly unneccessary to see what they both were feeling, especially when Will bent down to accept a deep, tongue filled kiss from his mistress.
"We...we have a package, yes," Isaac stammered.
Will pulled away from Deanna to face the young man. "How much is it worth to you?"
Isaac looked to his counterparts who nodded in agreement then simultaneously said, "A lot!"
"Well, boys...you've found your man!" Will wiped away the wetness from his moustache. "What are the specifics?"
Isaac let out a short, nervous breath of air. "There's just one catch first."
Will's eyes narrowed. "What 'catch'?"
"Antral," he patted his buddie's shoulder, "gets to along on the first ride. If everything works out fine...then I promise...your retirement will come along a lot sooner than you think."
Antral took a step forward and looked over toward the now emptied blanket that was shared by Bev and Dea. "Hey! Where'd the red-head go? I mean, she's going too, right?"
Will's scheme caused Beverly to nearly choke on her drink. But through the coughs and gurgles, she managed to sputter a quick, "No."
Will continued, "--then we would be able to figure out who..."
"No." Beverly composed herself enough to sound a little more adamant.
"--their supplier is. All we need is information. We aren't here to..."
"NO!" She yelled, making sure there was no question to her answer.
"BUST THEM! DAMN IT Beverly! Don't make me make it an order!" Riker caught the rebuking look on Deanna's face and backed off. "You have to come with us," he said softly.
Beverly, with her back against the wall folded her arms and shook her head. "You honestly want me to be some kid's," the next word grinded past her clenched teeth, "prostitute?!"
Deanna stepped forward. "No," she said hesitantly, "you'll be Will's...too"
"WHAT?! This is getting worse by the second!" Beverly sighed.
"Hey!" Will said defensively but was prevented from saying anything else by another scathing look from Troi.
"Its the only way he can protect us! Look, we had no idea Isaac was going to be sending one of his guys with. And because we need you to come along, you're just going to have to...bare it." She couldn't help but smile at her choice of words. Beverly, however, didn't find it quite as amusing.
"So help me, Riker," the doctor waggled her finger in his face, "if you touch me, I will personally blow you out the nearest air lock! Understand?"
"Yes, Doctor...I get your point! Jeesh." Will looked to Deanna, and without a word passing between them, she gave him an approving nod of her head. "Besides," he said to Beverly while pulling Deanna to his lap, "I don't think my girlfriend would approve."
Beverly's scowl lightened immediately. "I knew it!" Her hands clasped together in delight. "You guys and your little game...you couldn't fool anyone!"
Will glanced at Deanna and the way she was shaking her head made him laugh. "Anyone, except you!"
"Finally!" And then, just as quick as the frown left her beautiful face, it had returned. She glared at Troi. "And you never told me?" She punctuated her distress with a light smack on Deanna's arm.
Deanna truly looked apologetic. "The timing was never quite right."
"And speaking of timing," Riker interrupted, "we'd better get ready. We're due to meet with Antral in two hours."
As soon as Deanna stood from Will's lap, Beverly gave her a brief hug and whispered, "I'm so happy for the two of you."
The empath took a moment to revel in her friend's joy as well as her own. This night would undoubtedly be long and stressful, so she gratefully accepted this pleasant moment. "Thanks," she said then followed Will to his hotel room where her belongings had mysteriously disappeared to.
Having heard Will scream the instant he stepped into his hot shower, Deanna decided to take hers slightly on the luke warm side. Just above tolerable. She too could already feel the tightness in her skin from her own sunburn and made a mental reminder to seek medical attention from her friend as soon as possible.
In effort to remove the unpleasant cold shower from her mind, she went over
their plan in her head.
As simple as it sounded, Deanna knew better. Nothing ever went according to plan. Especially when Will Riker, the man with a certain affinty for trouble, was involved. Maybe she should think of what 'might' go wrong, instead of what she was to do.
The first part was easy. While Beverly pretended to sleep off a hangover in the aft cabin, she could 'play' her part with Will. Doing whatever was needed to prove to Antral that she cared less about the delivery.
But the second part, the really difficult part, came next. She had to come up with a way to get Antral to let her go with them once they reached Rigel Nine, where she would try and discern who was in charge and who was included in this little operation.
After stepping from the stall, Deanna wrapped a towel around herself and walked into the living room. "Will, do you think we have time to-" she stopped in mid-sentence and stared at Will who was looking at his reflection in a mirror. "What are you wearing?"
Will molded the brim of the navy blue colored baseball cap and turned to face her. "Like it?"
Deanna walked to him and wrapped her hands around his waist. "I never thought that I'd like you in a hat, but yeah, I like it." She reached up and traced the white embroidered lettering at the front. "Whats this stand for?"
"Its a 'N Y'. You know...New York Yankees? Cochrane gave it to me as a thank you gift. Thought it might make me a little more inconspicuous."
"I like the way the blue highlights your eyes. Kinda sexy." She placed a kiss at the very tip of his chin.
Will fumbled for the place where the towel secured itself against her body. "Well, I kinda like the way this towel accents your," he waggled his eyebrows and focused on her cleavage. "I mean, who else can boast about having such a sexy shrink as a girlfriend?"
No sooner did he managed to rip away the towel and begin to kiss her, when the door alarm beeped. Deanna quickly hopped into the bedroom leaving Will standing with the towel in one hand just as the door opened.
'Sorry to barge in," Beverly stopped as she saw the frustrated look on his face and the damp towel in his outstretched hand. "Really...I am. But I saw our 'boy' walking through the door of the lobby..., presumably on his way here."
Will's frustration immediately turned to concern. "We were supposed to meet at the transport area." He turned back toward the bedroom. "Deanna, get dressed fast! We've got company coming!"
Gathering up his phaser, Will shoved it in his pants pocket and lunged for the couch, bringing Beverly with him. "Work with me," he muttered just before the door alarm beeped.
Beverly nuzzled into Will's neck as she layed in his lap. "My my William...is that a phaser in your pocket or are just happy to see me?" Beverly batted her blue eyes at his surprised expression.
Somehow, he managed a calm, "Come." It wasn't hard to look surprised at Antral's unexpected visit. He waited for him to step through the threshold. "What the-"
"Hope you don't mind the change of plans?" Antral said, holding a large black case.
"A little forewarning would have been nice!" grumbled Will as he gently moved Crusher beside him.
Just then, Deanna walked out of the bedroom towel drying her hair, but completely dressed. "Oh! Do we have company?" She walked behind the couch and ran her hands down the length of Will's arms."
Immediately, Deanna froze from the sensations she was getting from the young man; nervousness, compounded with fear and extreme anxiousness. The exact ingredients for a problem, she thought.
Will stood. "There had better be a good reason for this change." He looked quickly at the women. "I don't like to be interrupted. If you know what I mean."
Antral nervously cleared his throat. "I thought you'd be alone. I apologize." He raised a shaky hand and hovered it just above the control panel to the door. "I've changed plans because I won't be in need of your services. Well, personally, anyway." He opened the door. "But, he...will."
Sensing immediate danger, Deanna wanted to scream for Will to stop the door from openeing but her chance passed too quickly and a split second later, a Cardassian now stood in the doorway.
"I understand you have means of transportation to Rigel Nine?" the reptillian-like soldier said. "Forgive me," he stretched an inviting hand out to greet Will, "I'm Golek. And I will be in need of your services this evening."
Will looked at the hulking man with great caution. "Why you?"
The Cardassian dropped his solicited hand. "Thats not for you to worry." He turned back toward Antral. "I will just need to inspect to package before you get paid."
Deanna's eyes immediately went to Antral. His sense of fear was so powerful she would have thought for sure he was about to wet himself.
"The package, boy?" Golek reached his hand out and waited for the case to be placed into it.
Deanna was able to catch Will's gaze and she slowly shook her head. ~This is trouble~ she sent.
Will put his hand in his pocket and wrapped his fingers around his phaser.
Antral handed over the case and slid closer to the door. The moment Golek bent down to open it up, the young man bolted through the opening only to bounce completely back into the room when he ran straight into two other Cardassians.
They too, walked into the room and let the door close completely behind them. "Remove your hand from your pocket!" One of them ordered Will.
Will complied and raised his hands up. "Hey, we don't want any trouble."
"Keep quiet." Golek said and stood to face Antral.
With one clean sweep of a knife, Golek slashed open the man's neck and grinned as Antral slid to the floor within a pool of his own blood.
Will stepped forward and placed himself between Golek and the women. "What was that for?" Will yelled.
Golek wiped the knife clean against Will's shirt. "He cheated me. And because of that, I can only presume that you were in on it as well."
"What?" Will couldn't believe what was happeneing. But it was quite obvious now, who the mysterious third party was.
"I thought he might try to sneak a little off the top." He motioned down to the bright red powder that lay neatly packaged in the case. "How much did he pay you?"
"Wait a minute," Will said quickly. "He hasn't paid me anything. I don't know anything about this!"
The warrior smiled passed his thin lips. "Oh, I'm sure you don't." Golek nodded to his counterparts. "Kill them all."
"WAIT!" Will cried. In the blink of an eye, Will Riker made a decision that he had been trained to make; what was best for starfleet, and for his crew. Or in this case, his away team. If they found out they were undercover officers, they would all surely die. So, without hesitation and with all the confidence he could muster, he plead, "These women," he tossed a look over his shoulder, "they're nothing but whores. They know nothing! Its me you want. I was involved in the scheme."
"Will, you musn't!" Deanna yelled but was held back by a cardassians cold grip.
Still not making eye contact with the women, he turned half way and yelled, "Shut up, bitch!" Then forced attention back to Golek. "Its me you want? Its me you got. Let the women go!"
"Very brave. Very brave indeed." Golek gestured to release Beverly and Deanna. "It will be too late for you anyhow should they call for help."
Pushing them out the door, Deanna turned around just in time to see before the door closed, one of the Cardassian whiping a metal rod into the back of Will's legs, knocking him to his knees.
Golek wielded the long knife infront of Riker's face, making sure he was fully aware of the blade's jagged edge. "Now...you will tell me where you have hidden the rest of the powder."
Will shifted uncomfortably from knee to knee. The hit he took on his thighs made his entire lower half of his body convulse with muscle spasms. "Like I said before...I don't know what you're talking about." He held his eyes straight forward, unwilling to look at the Cardassian who brought down another blow with the metal rod, this time to his lower back.
Will slumped to the floor in agony, catching himself with his hands before his face hit the carpet. From the corner of his eye, he saw Antral's lifeless body and quickly concluded that the boy must have had brass balls to think he could cheat a Cardassian. Or else he hadn't a lick of common sense.
"Wrong answer. Try again." Golek sneered and placed his boot against Will's face, pushing him completely down to the floor.
"Look...I have no reason to lie to you!" Will grinded out past his crushing cheek and jaw.
Golek removed his boot from Will's face and kicked him in the ribs. "Why?"
Will pushed himself back up to a crouch, then slowly stood up. Okay girls, thats all the time I can afford you, he thought, I've stalled as long as I could. "Because Golek, my name is Commander William Riker of the starship Enterprise, and I have no clue what Antral did with your powder."
"Wha-" The Cardassian snorted then flipped the Yankee hat from the commander's head. Grabbing a handful of hair, he pulled Riker's head back. "I should have known...I thought you looked too pretty to be involved with these morons." He released his grasp forcefully, knocking Riker's head to the side.
"And if you kill me, Starfleet will be after you quicker than snot!"
Golek rounded on him sharply, The knife he still held in his hand, grazing against Will's chest. "Starfleet, won't know!"
Riker smiled confidently. Too confidently. "The ladies you just released...are Starfleet too. And I would imagine that they've notified the authorities by now."
Golek placed the tip of the blade in the hollow of Riker's throat, just below the jawline. "Then at least I will have killed, one."
Will felt a warm trickle of blood run down his neck. Watching the muscles of Golek's arm flex in preparation to slice through the tough cartilage of the throat, he knew he had to make a move, *now*.
Bringing his elbow up, Will knocked Golek's arm away then used the heel of his hand and crushed a teeth-shattering blow into the Cardassian's chin, sending him backwards into a wall. He then leaped for the door before the other two reacted and was in the hallway a split second later.
Running as fast as his sore and bruised muscles could carry him, he tried to
send to Deanna but the lack of practice over the years prevented him from
Will's body sailed past the last door and as he reached the hot and humid outdoor climate, his feet came to a grinding halt the moment he saw Beverly and Deanna being forcefully pushed into a shuttle by two more Cardassians.
Will's sudden emergence from the hotel caused Deanna to spin suddenly and look in his direction. Unfortunately, her captors saw her surprised look and followed her gaze. "GET HIM!" they yelled and three other soldiers immediately jumped from the shuttle and began firing.
Will dodged the first two laser blasts, but the third one clipped his leg and stunned him enough to where he lay motionless just long enough for the soldiers to capture him.
The women could see from the rear of the shuttle Will being dragged toward them. Beverly placed a hand on Deanna's forearm attempting to calm her. "It was only a stun," she said reassuringly.
Deanna nodded just before Will was tossed into the cabin. "Bind him," one of the Cardassians ordered. Beverly began to inspect Will from the slight distance, noticing first the prominent cut just under his jaw then the smaller laceration across his chest. Both wounds seemed to still be weeping blood, she noted.
Will's arm involuntarily jerked as his body awoke from the brief stun and he immediately felt a phaser in his mouth. "Make sure he doesn't have any weapons on him first."
Two Cardassians pulled Will to a wobbly standing position and began to search. While one held his arms tightly behind, the other completed a rough and rather intimate search of the commander's body. Running his hands up Riker's legs and into the groin, the soldier dipped his hand into Will's pocket and proudly removed the hidden phaser.
"Better check the women as well." A voice called out.
Will twisted his neck around to see that it was Golek who had made that last order. Dark red blood stains covered his greenish skin and Will could tell by the look on his face, he was in no mood to talk. Golek took two steps into the shuttle and backhanded the now bound commander across the face. "That, is only the beginning, Commander." Will's official title rolled off the reptilian's tongue almost as if it was painful to say. "You will pray, that I might have killed you when I had the chance."
Deanna and Beverly were searched just as rough as the commander, only it appeared that the soldier was enjoying it this time. Sensing his curiosity and excitement about human females, he was certainly taking his time. "Clear!" he finally yelled to Golek and stepped away, but not before he gave one last lascivious look to both of them.
The shuttle's door opened one last time to allow the last two passengers to enter. Isaac and Ghrafton stood just inside the door and stared at Will with shaking heads.
"Should have known," Isaac said and felt the shuttle rock forward as it took off. "You're timing was too perfect. Just too damn perfect," he repeated and sat down in front of Will. "Trying to play Mister Bad Guy...making it look like you could fit right in." He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. "So tell me, what was Antral offering you to betray us? Huh? A load of cash? More women?" He glanced back toward the ladies. "Afterall, thats all that matters in your life anyway, right?" Both he an Ghrafton laughed at the commander's so-called alias. "All I can say, its a damn good thing Golek still wants to work with us, because I guarantee had I found you out,,,you would have been digging your own grave by now."
"In time my friend...in time," Golek called out from the front of the shuttle. "We have other plans for now."
Deanna felt a wave of guilt and disappointment wash over Will. How could this whole mission fall to pieces so fast, she wondered. It certainly wasn't anyone's fault but she knew Will would take the blame for not having foreseen such a possibility. But then again, it really wouldn't matter anyway if none of them made it out alive, she reluctantly surmised.
Will glanced back at the bench where Deanna and Beverly were seated. Hoping to see some sort of encouragement; a smile, a nod...anything that would tell him they were okay, instead he found himself staring at a large discolored bruise circling Deanna's neck.
Sensing Will's immediate rage, Deanna opened her eyes to see that he was completely focused on the injury she received trying to duck away from one of the soldiers grasp.
~I'm all right, Imzadi.~
Startled by the voice he heard in his head, he met her eyes with a look of
absolute remorse. Once again, guilt washed over him as he refocused on the
bruise and wondered how could he have let all this go so wrong. He should never
have told Golek who he was, let alone who the ladies were. He knew that now.
Except now...is too late.
~It wasn't your fault, Will. Isaac saw us trying to use our communicators and informed Golek's men.~
Will leaned heavily against the back of his seat and tried to concentrate. After nearly twelve years of unpracticed telepathy, it wasn't until he heard back...
~I love you too.~
...did he realize he still knew how to talk to her in that way.
Unable to scratch the itch arising from the blood drying on his neck and chest, Will fumbled with the metal cuffs that held his wrists near his waist. They were just as tight as the cuffs that held his ankles, binding them to the floor.
Things aren't looking too good for Willie, he thought. Turning as much as he could to face Isaac, he spoke, "Where are you taking us?"
Isaac's top lip curled into a snarl just before he opened his mouth and spit a large ball of mucous at Will, missing him by merely a centimeter. "Thats not your concern, old man."
If his hands weren't bound, he would have slapped the shitty grin off the boy. "It is my concern, Isaac. And it should be yours as well. Kidnapping three Starfleet officers isn't exactly a smart move."
Isaac stood and took a few steps toward Will before veering off to stand beside the women. "You mean, you're not sticking by your story that these ladies are nothing but a couple of whores?" He ran a finger down Beverly's throat and then across her shoulder and down her arm. "Such a shame," he whispered.
Will purposely mumbled something loud enough for Isaac to hear in order to redirect the man's attention. "What was that, old man?"
"I said, 'you're making a big mistake, Isaac'. How old are you anyway? Twenty? Twenty-five?"
Isaac glanced over to his friend Ghrafton and laughed before answering. "Old enough... for you to be my father!"
Will bit back a scathing remark and exhaled sharply. Though it was probably true, the thought of having a twenty year old son made his stomach quiver. He never really thought of himself as old, well, at least not yet. He was completely capable of keeping up with any 'young gun' when it came to physical strength or in any other matter for that fact. Sure he might feel the effects the next day, but he was still proud in knowing that he was as physically fit as any other man. Perhaps even more so when it came to combat skills. And he hoped to hell that he could use that advantage against Ghrafton and Isaac.
Will sensed the change in the shuttles engines as the ship began to descend. Based on the time they were in flight, only two other planets were accesible by means of this shuttle. And guessing what Golek's and Isaac's intentions were, they were preparing to land on Wrigley's Pleasure Planet.
The commander cringed. This certainly was not the type of place to offer help to Starfleet personnel in trouble.
Founded by Horatio Wrigley, Wrigley's Pleasure Planet made Risa look like St. Paul's Cathedral. With its bright lights and hedonistic lifestyle, it was the kind of place your mother warned you about. Not even Will Riker in his younger, more reckless years, had the guts to visit this place.
The shuttle came to a lurching stop and Golek emerged from the cockpit. "Get him ready," he ordered.
Ghrafton pulled Will to his feet and unlocked the shackles. "Don't do anything stupid, Riker." He then pushed the much taller man out the hatch before sitting down in Will's vacated seat.
Turning around, Riker realized the women weren't coming with. In answer to the questioning glance, Ghrafton said, "They're staying with me. Just in case you fail to do what your supposed to."
Riker was pushed again through another doorway and into a large room. Golek rounded on him and shoved a finger in his face. "Consider yourself lucky the shuttle wasn't stopped by the Outer Rings security squad. Because if we would have been caught, the officers would be picking up bits and pieces of your body right about now."
Riker remained quiet despite his wishes to vocalize where he'd want to stick Golek's pointing finger. Looking around, he summed up his options rather quickly; there wasn't any. Three Cardassians plus Isaac, plus the fact Ghrafton was holding the women captive, he was just going to have to play through this and wait for one to appear.
And much to his surprise, he didn't have to wait long.
Golek and two of his men walked out of the room, leaving Isaac and one other
Cardassian to guard him. Making it appear he had been hurt in the back from his
previous thwack, Will held his waist and began to limp toward the nearby
chair. Grasping the back of the frame, he judged its weight and decided it do
well as a distraction.
Will quickly heaved the chair in Isaac's direction and lunged toward the Cardassian, grabbing hold of his armed hand in the process.
Holding the soldier from behind, Will used the body as a shield when Isaac fired. The body quickly went limp within his embrace but he did not let go. He could smell and hear the flesh of the reptilian char as he walked toward Isaac. When he finally had a chance to move his arm, Will grabbed the weapon from the soldier's fried hand and fired, hitting the wall behind Isaac, crumbling it atop the young man.
Disgusted, he threw what remained of the Cardassian down and ran for the door with hopes that Golek had not returned to the shuttle. He took two steps into the shuttle bay and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Beverly and Deanna emerging from the opened hatch quite quickly.
"Where's Ghrafton?" he asked.
Beverly inclined her head back toward the shuttle. "We decided he needed a rest."
"He became a little too forward when everyone left. So I took him out," Deanna said with a slightly proud smile.
Will reached for her hand when phaser blasts skipped across the tarmac toward them. "Find cover!" Will yelled, firing back and pulling Deanna into a small alcove, shielding her body with his.
Beverly found her own foxhole behind some crates not far from them. The exchange of phaser fire left the shuttle directly in the middle. And when a number of blasts hit the shuttle squarley near the cockpit, Will knew there was to be no escape via the craft.
"Did you see any other way out of here?" Will asked as he pressed aganist Deanna's small body when another round of fire came their way.
"I noticed one other door to the east from where you came from," she said and buried her head into his back.
"Okay," he motioned to Beverly to follow them out, "I'll cover us. GO!"
Will walked sideways, shielding the women, and continuously fired, not giving any chance for retaliatory blasts from their opponents.
Thank goodness for minor miracles; the door was unlocked. The women backed into the room and when Will remained in the doorway longer than Deanna would have liked, she pulled him in and closed the opening.
"Through here!" Beverly waved them into a hallway and they ran as fast as they could down the passage, stopping only when they exploded out the last door and onto a crowded street of one of the cities.
Beverly looked up and down the street. "Now I know why they were so anxious to get here. This place is terrible!" she said disgustedly.
The numerous storefronts they passed all seemed to scream the same thing:
PLEASURE FOR SALE
Whether it was by gambling, sex, or by some other nefarious mean, this place sold it all. And the sad part was, the streets were completely filled with would-be patrons.
Will held Deanna's hand tightly as they walked. "I've heard stories of this place. I guess I hoped I'd never find the truth out for myself."
"You mean you've never been here, Commander?' Beverly smiled, but even she knew this place was far below Will Rikers tastes.
Riker shrugged. "I'd like to think I have 'some' pride for myself. Look at that!" He gestured subtley toward a scantily clad young woman enticing a would-be customer. He almost said 'he'd never paid for sex in his life...it always came easily to him', but under the circumstance, he chose to leave well enough alone.
Beverly saw what appeared to be a fairly simple restaurant and pointed. "Let's go in there. I want a better look at your injuries."
Will held his head down, trying to hide his cut as the hostess led them to a back table. "Thank you," Deanna said. "Will, I hope you have currency in your pocket. Otherwise we're about to make another quick exit."
Will reached in deep and tossed out various denominations of the sector's universal currency. "This should do, for a while at least."
Deanna quickly covered up the money with her hands. Thats all they would need now is to be robbed, she thought.
Will followed Beverly to the restroom. "Please, not the Ladies'."
"Well I'm certainly not going into the Men's." Beverly peeked in. "Its empty, let's go." They both took a moment to wash their faces, and Will was especially glad to rid the dried blood from his skin. After a quick inspection of his neck, Beverly seemed happy that it was only superficial. Will unbuttoned his shirt to allow her to look at the cut on his chest; also superficial.
He readjusted the phaser he had hidden in his waistband."Sorry Doc, but you aren't getting me to pull my pants down in here. My thighs are bruised, but otherwise they feel fine." Will said as he wiped blood from his chest. At least he was wearing a dark colored shirt, the slight tear and blood stains were barely noticable.
Beverly smiled and shook her head. "Never thought I'd see the day Will Riker refused to pull his pants down for a lady."
"Yeah, well...as Isaac was so fond of saying, I'm getting old."
Beverly halted Will from opening the door by holding his arm. "That kid's got nothing on you, Will! And I'm sure that Betazoid out there, would completely agree." She grinned and opened the door for them both. "After you, young man..."
Deanna counted the money Will tossed down and was glad to see they had enough to last a number of days on this hell hole, if need be. With their communicators having been confiscated, and with this planet being very much anti-Federation, it was going to be hard getting a message out from here.
She removed the money from the table and placed it in her pocket just in time before the waitress approached. "Alone?" the gray-skinned, Lexian woman asked. Only Deanna could tell there was an underlying intent was held in that simple little word, and it made her cringe to sense the perverted emotions coming from two male patrons seated just behind her.
Luckily, she didn't have to answer because Will was sliding in the booth. Deanna quickly wrapped her arms around the man's neck and kissed him.
"Guess not," the waitress spoke to herself. "A three-some, eh? Well, that calls for the house specialty! And the drinks are on me!"
Beverly watched the woman leave and head to the kitchen. "Great. I wonder what the specialty is?" She looked across the table to see Deanna and Will still kissing. "Ahem!"
Totally embarassed, Deanna broke away from Will's lips. "Sorry."
"You don't have to apologize. Just keep the lip smackin' at a minimum, please. For my own sanity, at least."
Deanna leaned into Will and gazed up at the wound. "Did the doctor say you're okay? I mean, you're not gonna die on me, are you?"
Will smiled. "I'm afraid you can't get rid of me that easily."
"So...do we even have a plan yet?" Beverly asked.
Will rubbed the bridge of his nose, sensing a headache coming on. "Well, for starters, we need to stay clear of Golek and any other Cardassian, for that matter." He waited for the waitress to place their drinks down before he continued. "We've already missed two check-in times with Starfleet security, so they're going to be looking for us. They'll be checking flight records of all shuttles leaving the planet too. It shouldn't be too long before they find the Cardassian shuttle here."
Deanna sensed his hesitation and real concern. "But...?"
With a heavy sigh, Will continued. "But...Golek is going to do all he can to make sure we don't make contact with Starfleet. He'll have every bounty hunter out looking for us shortly, if he hasn't already done so. He can't risk us informing the Federation. If word gets out that they are dealing drugs to the Dominion and the Jem'Hedar, the Federation will be on them like ants at a picnic."
"This mission just keeps getting better with every passing second," Beverly frowned.
Deanna spotted the waitress making her way back to the table holding a single bowl in her hand.
"Here you go...one 'house specialty'." She placed the dinner down and started to walk away when Beverly called after her.
"Ma'am? May we please have utensils?" Beverly looked at the pie-like looking dish and inhaled deeply. Though it looked like a fluffy merangue-covered lemon pie her grandmother used to make, it smelled deliciously identical to fresh bread.
The waitress looked confused when she glanced at all three of her customers. "This your first time to the planet?"
"Yes," all three of them answered nearly in unison.
"That makes sense." The waitress placed her hands flat on the table and leaned across it, putting her considerably large cleavage in front of Will. "The dinner is really for you, honey. The high protein in the dinner gives you...stamina. The chef claims it has aphrodisiac-like ingredients in it. But, I myself, never felt anything from it." She looked to Beverly. "And...you're not supposed to use utensils, sweety. He," she pointed at Will, "feeds you, himself, using only his fingers...or whatever else he chooses."
Beverly glanced quickly at Deanna's curious reaction and no sooner did the waitress leave the table then Beverly called back after her, "Umm, Miss? Check, please!"
"Will? Do you know where we're going?"
Will Riker gripped the Betazoid's hand a little firmer as they crossed the street, glancing back over his shoulder quickly to make sure the Enterprise's doctor was following closely. "Not really," he said as they ducked into another store front.
After leaving the restaurant, the trio mingled with the crowds as they made their way down the sidewalks of the city. Luckily for them, the city was bustling with activity and it was easy to hide within the pathways of the other pedestrians.
Passing by several clothing stores, Deanna suggested that they stop to buy some new clothing and possibly change their looks.
"So, are you implying that a red-head, a petite brunette, and a bearded blue-eyed man would be easy to spot? No...never." Beverly said sarcasticly.
"We could always buy a razor and-?" Deanna winced when Will faced her sharply.
"No way! You will NOT be coming anywhere near ME... with a razor!" He held up his index finger and waved it back and forth. "We just need to find someplace to stay for a while," he said as he looked up at the name on the awning just above thier heads. "The Revere Hotel. Sounds as good as any other place." He shrugged and opened the door for the women to enter first. When they failed to accept his gentlemanly gesture, he turned around quickly and saw them gaping open mouthed at the window just to the side of the hotel.
"What is it?" his question was ignored and he followed their gaze. "Oh...my!" he said.
A live male model, flexing his sculptured physique, stood just beyond the glass showing off the various garments that could be purchased within the store; most notably, the thin red thong he wore. Various other colors of that particular item hung loosely across his bulging forearms and finger tips.
"Deanna?" He watched Beverly lean over and whisper something into her ear and both women burst into a fit of giggles. "Uh, Deanna?" he called again, becoming considerably annoyed.
As a crowd of women gathered around the window, Will shouted at the top of his lungs, "DEANNA!"
Like a slap across the face, the reality of where she was and what it was she was doing spun Deanna around to see Will's disheartened expression. She quickly sliced her way through the crowd and went to him. "Oh, Will. I'm so sorry." She placed her hand on his forearm but he turned away quickly and reopened the door to the hotel.
"We better get inside," he said coldly.
Deanna sensed his displeasure at the way she and Beverly were gawking at the model, and silently cursed herself. She knew full well that Will had been fighting his own demons recently regarding his age. Even tough she tried to reaffirm to him that he was every bit, if not better, looking than he was fifteen years ago when she first met him, he had become so insecure and certain that she would leave him when someone better looking came along.
She held back and let Beverly enter in front of her. Again she tried, "Will, that was stupid of me."
He placed a hand on her shoulder and gently turned her back around to face the lobby. "We'll talk later," he said softly and she could tell he was hurting.
Will walked up to the front desk and returned a few minutes later with a key card. "We could only afford one room. We'll have to make do for now."
Beverly nodded her head and followed the couple into the lift fully aware of the icyness that had befallen between the two. "You know...I'm still a bit hungry. Maybe I'll go back down and grab a bite to eat."
Will shook his head. "I don't like the idea of us splitting up. We have no way of contacting each other if something happens."
"The restaurant was in full view of the lobby, and it looked like it was crowded too. I'll just hide at the bar." She pulled the extra key card from his grasp.
"A single woman standing at a bar...in a place like this. Beverly, the captain would kill me if anything happened to you!"
"Unless you know something I don't know...the captain could care less. Well, other than the fact of losing his CMO."
"Beverly." Will warned.
The lift came to a stop at the tenth floor and the doctor pushed her friends out. "Room 1021, right?" The door began to close and she settled against the far wall. "If I'm not back in an hour, you can call out the calvery."
Will angrily slapped at the now closed door. "Damn her. If we had a calvery, we wouldn't be in this mess."
Deanna wrapped her hand around his arm and gently pulled. "Come on. I'm sure she'll be fine."
Will grumbled under his breath then turned to follow her. It had been a terribly long day and he couldn't wait to get some sleep. His scorched skin stung from the day's sun, and he was beginning to feel the effects of the vollyball match. Damn, he really was getting old.
Opening the door to the room, Will spotted the two double beds and chose the closest one to fling his large body down onto. Stretching against its softness, a tired and achy moan escaped his mouth. He turned to his side and saw Deanna staring right at him with a curious look. "What?"
"Just admiring the view."
He flopped onto his back. "Sorry to disappoint you."
Will felt the bed shift as she crawled next to him. After a few moments of silence, she spoke, "Look, what I did was immature and completely out of line. There's no excuse for doing something so lame and so...so-"
"Normal," he said and he took her hand within his. "Deanna, I'm the one who's acting immature. I'm sorry. Its just that there's a part of me that gets so damn scared when it comes to us. For God knows why...I've been blessed with something so special. Hell...don't you think I know, that I don't deserve you?"
She retracted her hand as if he had hurt her. "Why do you keep thinking that? My God, Will! You're every bit the man I could ever dream for." She shot back. "Quit feeling sorry for yourself! Its time you understand...that I'm yours." Deanna took his hands and held them above his head while she straddled his waist. "All, yours." She leaned down for his parted lips but kissed his chin instead. "Every last ounce of me...is at your disposal." She bit her bottom lip and took a deep breath. "As you, are at mine."
His immediate impulse was to flip her over and take her right then, but he could tell by the gleam in her eye that she had other plans.
"You see, Imzadi...I have this little fantasy..." She watched his eyebrows raise with curiosity as she ran a sure finger down his cheek over the days worth of stubble. "Gods, I really love it when you're scruffy," she said on a breath, then continued, "that involves, us. And we only have one hour to fulfill it." She smiled seductively and felt his intense reaction under her right thigh.
Will suddenly forgot the fact that only minutes ago, he was lamenting about his age and said in a playfull voice, "So...what are you waiting on?"
Exactly one hour to the minute of her departure, Beverly inserted the key into the slot and opened the door. Glad to be away from the bar and the neverending, horribly performed come-ons she received, she leaned against the wall in total exhaustion.
The interior of the room was dark, save for the dim light in the hallway where she stood. Making her way into the larger room after lowering the illumination yet some more, she barely spotted Will's large body leaning aginst the headboard of the bed cradling Deanna's sleeping head in his lap.
"Just in the nick of time..." he whispered.
"Never did get in trouble for breaking curfew," she was reminded of her adolescent years and smiled.
Just before Will slid down into the bed to give her some privacy, he nodded his head and said softly, "Thanks."
It was hard to not notice that he was bare chested and the woman he held, barely covered by the comforter, was as well. She felt an immediate warmness grown in her cheeks and was glad the darkness prevented him from seeing her blush. "Anything, for my friends..."
Deanna woke the next morning to the smell of fresh coffee as it permeated through her groggy senses, awakening them slowly. Turning over in the bed, she met the sleepy gaze of her best friend who lay in the bed next to her. "Good morning."
Beverly stretched her lanky body then embraced a pillow against her chest. "Morning."
"Will?" Deanna called out.
Waving two toothbrushes like they were a prize, Riker poked his head out of the bathroom and smiled. "I picked up a few necessities this morning. There's also some coffee on the table for you caffein-junkies."
He walked to where Deanna lay and sat next to her on the bed. "While I was out this morning, I inquired about getting a transport to take us back to Federation space," he said solemnly.
"Word got out quick. Seems as though all the transport pilots know to turn us in to Golek if we try it."
"Well, how did you find out that information? They must have known who you were then, right?" Beverly asked.
Will held up his hand to show her the broken knuckle and bruised fist he suffered when he had to knock the guy out to prevent him from contacting Golek. "I have my ways," he said and then winced as he tried to bend his fingers.
"Will!" If it wasn't for the thin camasol Beverly was wearing, she would have jumped up to check the fracture.
"Don't worry, I've been icing it for the last twenty minutes. See?" he placed that hand on Deanna's bare shoulder, making her yelp and squirm to the other side of the bed. "The swelling has already gone down a lot."
"What happened to the phaser?"
"Dead. It must have had very little power to begin with."
Crusher let out a long and terribly frustrated sigh. "Do I dare ask what we are going to do now?"
"All we can do is wait. I would imagine that Starfleet has figured out the destinations of all the shuttles that departed from Risa yesterday. Let's hope by tonight, they make their presence known on this wonderful planet."
"So, until then, I'm stuck...in a hotel room...with you two?
"Whats wrong with that?" Deanna wondered aloud.
"Nothing. As long as loverboy keeps his pants up." She lifted an eyebrow in Will's direction as a warning.
Deanna watched Will pass by her for what seemed like the hundredth time as he continued to pace about the hotel room. It was late afternoon and after he made the decision that they would wait until night fall before heading back out to the streets, all three officers waited with great anticipation for the sun to disappear beyond the horizon.
"Will, please. You're driving me insane just watching you. Come, sit down for a while." Deanna patted the empty spot in the bed next to her.
He shook is head and grumbled, "This is nuts.I've got to do something."
"You said it wouldn't be safe going out in broad daylight," Beverly reminded him. "Another three hours and we can fly this coop."
He rubbed the back of neck and then his bearded chin. "I don't think I can take another minute."
"You've waited a lot longer for other things," Deanna said and when he looked at her with a playful grin, she couldn't help but smile back. "I meant in regards to Starfleet...you've had more patience looking down the barrel of a smoking gun , than you do right now. What, are we that bad of company?" she teased.
Will regarded the empath from a cross the room and subtley gestured towards Beverly. "Since the certain *things* have been banned that would undoubtedly occupy my time," he waited for the doctor's exasperated reaction before continuing, "I, am going for a walk." He put up a hand to stop the verbal assault he was about to receive. "Just to the lobby."
Will walked back to Deanna and gave her a rather long kiss. Smiling, he looked over to Beverly, and using his most feminine voice he could muster, spoke, "If I'm not back in an hour, you can call out the calvary."
Beverly's eyes narrowed in mock anger and watched him leave. "Smart ass," she said as the door closed.
Deanna chuckled and rolled over on the bed to re-read the same magazine that she put down only minutes ago. Sensing that her friend's scrutiny, she flung the article to the floor. "What?"
"So, what brought all this on?" She nodded towards the door where Will just exited. "And don't play dumb. You know what I'm talking about."
Flopping onto her back, the empath arched her back in an intense stretch before bringing her hands to rest behind her head. Hoping to hide her blushing cheeks, she looked at the ceiling as she spoke. "It was a long time in coming. I suppose, in a way, it just sort of happened."
"For how long?" the doctor curled her legs underneath her body and leaned forward as if she was about hear the most juiciest gossip ever.
"Since we returned from Earth. So, what...about three weeks then?"
"Deanna Troi! And you never told me? I'm truly hurt!"
With that, Deanna turned to face her. "Everyone was so busy with the clean-up, we decided it would wait until after the re-fit."
"You were going to wait another month before telling me you were sleeping with Commander Riker? Believe me, there were plenty of occasions when I could have used some cheering up or something to take my mind off the all the Borg crap littering my sickbay!"
"I'm sorry. I really am. But now that you know...promise us that you'll keep it a secret when we return?"
"Deanna, this is wonderful news! There are a ton of people that would love to celebrate with you!"
"I know. But another week or two won't hurt. Right?" Her eyebrows rose, suggesting certain retaliation, should word get out.
"Okay...fine," she put up her hands in agreement. "I won't tell-"
At that moment, Will burst back through the door. "I just saw Isaac and his hitmen enter the lobby! We don't want to be stuck in here when they come knocking on the door! Let's go!"
"How do you know they've figured out we're here?" Beverly asked as she rushed into the hallway.
"Because in a city like this, bribery is common practice. The desk clerk didn't seem all to trustworthy anyway." Will motioned for the ladies to follow him and they headed toward the farthest stairwell. "We'll head down this way and hopefully find a service exit."
Minutes later, they were standing in the alley behind the hotel. "Which way now?" Deanna panted.
Will looked at the options and pointed toward the busy street. "We lost 'em before that way...let's do it again."
Once on the sidewalk, Will looked back to the hotel's main entrance and watched as Isaac blasted through the door. "Oh, shit! MOVE!" He yelled and pushed the women into the crowd. Without causing too much of a scene, they tried to hurry past as many people as they could to put distance between them and Isaac.
Beverly saw what appeared to be a fairly safe business establishment and pulled Deanna with her, with Will following. "In here," she suggested, opening the door.
Will glanced over his shoulder just before stepping inside and smiled to himself as he saw no sign of Isaac or his men. A long breath of air was exhaled as he came to realize that from this moment on, they would be on the run and unable to trust anybody for fear of being turned over.
"Will?" he felt a soft hand graze over his forearm and what began as a gentle tug to gain his attention, quickly turned into an all out signal flare as her nails dug into his muscle.
The stinging pain quickly fled to the back of his mind when he spotted what had caught her attention; a man dressed in a skin tight black leather one-piece suit approached from a hallway just to the side of the lobby area. He wore a silver studded collar around his neck and metallic spiked wrist bands. His feet were bare save for the tattooed toes that slapped the floor as he neared.
"May I help you?" he asked as he whacked some sort of flogging device made of leather, into the palm of his other hand.
Will hesitantly stepped foreward. "Uh...hello. We...we just happened in and-"
"A room for three? Or are you, by yourself?" The man appeared to be sizing Will up as he walked a circle around the much larger man.
Will quickly glanced to Deanna in hopes of getting her impression and by the smirk on her face, he knew she was thinking the same thing he was. "We...are together," he answered proudly.
The man's face frowned for just a moment before he walked to the lone desk in the room. "Please, step into the ante-room through there," he motioned toward one of many doors at the side of the lobby, "and Holly will take care of you from there. Payment will be required after the services have been rendered."
Beverly's eyes narrowed in confusion. "Services?" she whispered to Deanna.
Deanna shrugged her shoulders and followed Will. Once inside the darkened room, Will whispered, "what's going on?"
"I'm not sure I want to find out. But I think you might have found a friend out there," Deanna smirked.
"He's not my ty-" Will stopped as a curtain on one of the walls raised revealing another room separated by a large pane of glass. "Oh no," he groaned. "Bev...your choices of businesses so far... leaves a lot to be desired."
Still confused, the doctor opened her mouth to object when a woman appeared on the other side of glass.
"Miss Holly...I presume?" Will smiled.
The woman, who already wore nothing but the barest of essentials, began stripping them off piece by piece. At that point, a dim light came on in the room where the officers stood and all three stared at the cot in the corner. "This is disgusting!" Beverly said.
Will graciously turned his back to the dancer and tried to focus on Deanna. "If we leave now, we might run into Isaac and his goons."
"And if we stay?" Beverly asked as her eyebrows rose with slight admiration of the dancer's flexibility.
Will ran a hand through his hair as he thought of their next move. Turning around slowly to face the window again, he tapped lightly on the glass.
"What are you doing, Will?"
Ignoring Deanna for the moment, he rapped again. "Uh...miss? Can you hear me?"
The dancer unwrapped her long leg from the pole that stuck up from the center of her raised dancing platform and glided toward the window. "Whats your request, handsome?" She kneeled down so as to look eye to eye with Will. "Not enough action?"
"Well," he grinned, "you see...I have my hands rather full with these beautiful ladies." Will wrapped his arms around both Bev and Dea's waists and pulled them to him. "But I'm afraid there's a problem that you might be involved in."
The woman brushed her breasts up against the window as she stood. And unavoidably placed the junction of her hips directly in Will's view. "And that problem would be...?"
Will looked guiltily to his feet. "My wife just found me out. And I'm afraid she's gonna come blasting through that door any moment and kill us all. So I was hoping you could sh-"
"Show you a way out?"
"Yes. A way out." Will looked up to her face and grinned.
The lady walked to one of the baren walls and knocked. A second later, a hidden door opened up linking the dance room with e viewing area. "I use this whenever my customer...wants a little more," she explained.
Will ushered the women through the passageway first and whispered to the dancer, "I really appreciate this."
She bit her bottom lip suggestively as she eyed the commander. "There are ways of showing that appreciation, you know?" She grabbed Will's wrist as he tried to walk by.
Glad that Deanna was no where in sight because he'd surely pay for this with his life, he softly placed his thumb against her lips and whispered, "Perhaps next time." He then gave her one of his trademark grins and a wink before he handed her a wad of money. "Thanks," he said and followed the passageway out the back door.
The passageway spit them back out into yet another alley. "I'm getting tired of this," Will mumbled.
Beverly and Deanna leaned against a brick wall, hidden from view from the street. "What are the chances Starfleet has security here yet?" Deanna inquired.
"Who knows?" Will shrugged. "If we can't get out there," he gestured toward the street, "then we might never know."
Will lowered himself against a wall and slumped to his haunches in thought. Deanna went to him and kneeled beside his body. "What are you thinking?" She could sense indecisiveness and tremendous aggravation coming from the commander. The indecision she could understand, but the aggravation was a source of trouble. Patience was not something Riker ever prided himself on. In fact, it got him in more trouble than he could count.
"From what I could see, it was only Isaac and three other men. The Cardassians weren't with him."
"So?" Deanna knew what he was thinking and tried change his mind before he had a chance to voice it. "Will, they're out to kill us. They're too unpredictable. You can't face them without weapons or-"
"Deanna, we don't have any choices left!"
"Yes we do!" she shot back. "We can keep running. You said yourself that-"
"I was wrong." When he interrupted her, he did so without anger or indignation. "Look, maybe we're going about this all the wrong way." He stood and helped Deanna to follow. "We've been running from them for the last thirty-six hours. Maybe its time we turn the table." His eyes crinkled as he spoke. "Its time they...become the hunted."
"Fists against phasers...not much of a fight, Commander." Crusher said.
There was a sudden rustling noise that came further down the alley and when Will looked up, he spotted Isaac and his men blocking one of their escapes. He glanced back over his shoulder at the street behind them and nodded slightly.
"Go," Will said softly. "I'll hold 'em long enough for you to escape."
"GO!" Will turned on Deanna and screamed. "Thats an order, Counselor!"
Beverly grabbed Deanna's hand and pulled her away. Will watched them head down the alley and when he turned back to face Isaac, he was smiling. "Come on, boy! Just you and me! Show me what you got!" He held his hands at arms length and began to walk.
Isaac looked around, not quite believing what he was hearing. Tossing down the pain stick he was wielding, he began to walk toward Will. "All right old man! Looks like someone's pathetic days are over!"
"I'm counting on it," Will grumbled. "I'm counting on it."
There were but a few times in Will Riker's life when he was actually able to admit that he had made an incorrect decision. Facing Isaac and his men alone, without the aid of any weapon, was painfully proving to be yet another one.
Had Isaac followed through with the 'unwritten rules' of fist fighting combat, he might have had a chance. Truthfully, he probably would easily have won. But when you're dealing with drug smuggling, spineless crooks who would rather shoot in the back than look you in the eye...he should have known it wasn't going to be a fair fight.
Will took the first shot across the jaw, but the next few were dealt by him and landed squarely upon Isaac's head. The young man was staggering, and just when Will was about to toss the poor lad into his counterparts and try to escape, Isaac cowardly signaled his buddies to jump in and see to it the fight would end in they're favor.
Riker lay bloodied and bruised in a small puddle of brackish water behind a few crates. His previously broken knuckle screamed with pain, simply completing his body's crescendoing orchestration of agony.
"Had enough, dickweed?" Isaac sputtered as he wiped the blood from his cut lips.
Will rose to his knees and glared up at his opponent. "Just couldn't do it by yourself, could you, Isaac?"
Isaac bent his knee back and kicked, hitting Will in the abdomen and sending him to the ground again with a large splash. "Get up, fucker!"
Riker held his gut as he staggered upright. Isaac's men immediately grabbed Will from behind and led him to an awaiting transport shuttle. "Had to save you for Golek," Isaac patheticly excused himself. "Or else I'd have killed you here."
Will grunted something trying to resemble a confident chuckle as they pushed him forward. "Yeah...sure you would've."
Deanna and Beverly hurried through the crowd to make it around the block to come up behind Isaac and his men on the other side of the alley. Rounding the last corner, both women came to an abrupt halt when they ran head first into Ghrafton and another man.
"Going somewhere, ladies?" Ghrafton grabbed a hold of Deanna's wrist while the other man held Beverly from behind. "I believe we have some unfinished business to take care of."
They pulled the women into the nearby shuttle and pushed them down onto a bench inside. "If Isaac gets to have his fun, then so do I." He began to undo the fastening on his trousers when the shuttle's door opened and Will was tossed inside.
"Will!" Deanna gasped.
Not at all surprised the women were caught, Will shook the excess water from his head and face, gave Deanna a cocky grin and shrugged. "He cheated." Will nodded toward Isaac in explanation.
Her immediate impulse was to run to him and wipe the blood and water from his face, but she knew they would probably make him pay for her show of love. So instead, she sent to him.
~Are you hurt?~
Too tired and pissed off to offer a reply telepathicly, he gave her another grin and shook his head. Will then scanned her body, as much as he could see anyway, to make sure there were no signs of mistreatment.
~We're fine~ she replied when she noticed his scrutiny. ~Seems like we were just here, doesn't it?~
He shook his head again, only this time it was in frustration. Bracing himself against the back of a seat as the shuttle took flight, Will fumbled with the cuffs that held his hands bound behind his back. The water had slickened his wrists but he was still unable to pull free.
Minutes passed and as the shuttle descended to their destination, a
nauseating feeling began to wash over Riker when he realized why Golek
wanted them kept alive rather than silencing them so that the Federation would
not find out.
Cardassians were well known for their horrific torture of prisoners. Even his own Captain Picard suffered through some of the worst torture techniques he had ever read about.
And now, with the women as a liability, Golek would be hard pressed not seek to try and seek out information from him. He would undoubtedly be witness to some of those same techniques except it would be upon Bev and Dea.
The shuttle jerked to a halt, and he was pulled to his feet. "Outside," one of the men ordered.
Deanna was right. Not only were they in the same shuttle, but they were now also in the same hanger area as before. The three officers were lined up against a wall and told to wait. Deanna must have been thinking the same thing he was, because she looked uncharacteristicly nervous, Will noticed. She was a strong woman and would endure as much as she physically could, not only for Starfleet, but also out of pride. Of which he wished she did not have so much of, especially right now.
They were positioned about a meter from one another and when Will captured Deanna's attention to send a comforting message to her, a door flew open and Golek walked out behind four soldiers.
Isaac presented his prizes to the commander and stood off to the side.
"Bring Riker forward," Golek ordered.
Two Cardassian's grabbed Will harshly by his arms and proceeded to rip away what was left of his shirt in the process of pushing him forward.
"Thanks," Will muttered and shook the shredded fabric from his arms.
"Commander William Riker. First Officer of the esteemed USS Enterprise," Golek hissed, "I understand you nearly ripped poor young Isaac's head off in a fight. Is that right?"
Riker looked over to the young man and watched as his eye's narrowed in anger and embarassment. "Something like that," he answered, then looked back to Golek.
The Cardassian circled his prisoner. "I also understand that you have a brother named Thomas?"
Will felt the muscles in his shoulders tense at the mere sound of his duplicates name." Something like that," he repeated after a moment.
"How do I know that you do not share in the same beliefs as he does? How do I know that you are not a Maquis sympathizer as well?" The reptilian-like man's voice increased in volume as he finally spat, "How do I know you are NOT...HE?"
"You should know...because he is in one of your labor camps!" Will shouted back.
Golek stood nose to nose with Riker and pulled out his knife from its sheath and held it to his throat. "I don't know...because he escaped two weeks ago!"
"Wha-?" Will felt the knife tip just below his ear, exactly opposite of the site where he was impaled earlier.
"Perhaps you would hear better if I cleaned out your ear with my knife!"
"I am Willam Riker. You said so yourself!"
"I wanted to see your reaction."
"So, how did it rate?"
"Like a man willing to say anything to spare his life...and his friends." Golek quickly glanced to the women then to Isaac. "I want him prepped for interrogation in ten minutes. Do you think you can handle that Isaac, or do I need to find some more men to help control him?" His voice held an insulting tone as he spoke to the young man.
"No," he said and walked up to Riker. "I can handle him, now." Isaac took a rifle that one of the soldiers were carrying and flipped it around so that he held the barrel in his hands. With one quick thrust, he nailed Riker in the groin with the handle and smiled.
Riker fell to his knees. "Cheap. shot. asshole," he exhaled before he fell over in misery.
After counseling Captain Picard over his torture at the hands of the Cardassians, Deanna thought she would have been prepared to see the scene unfolding in front of her. But listening to someone's stories and seeing it being carried out by her own eyes, were two completely different things.
Will was naked and shackled with his hands pulled high above his head. His body dangled from the wrists and stretched to a point where only his toes touched the cold concrete floor.
Deanna gasped as she and Beverly were led into the chamber, with Will hanging in the center. She opened up her mind to feel the barrage of emotions she thought for sure he'd be feeling; humiliation, anger, frustration, fear, pain. But instead, she was greeted with an eery silence that could only mean that he was intentionally blocking her probes. Above whatever he was about to endure, he somehow managed enough strength to place her well-being over his own. She was amazed, yet terribly saddened by his selflessness.
Imzadi...she cried silently.
Beverly reached for her hand but recoiled it quickly when a metal rod came crashing down on her forearm. "No talking...no touching," a soldier ordered.
Deanna assumed this whole time that she and Beverly would be the objects of torture and she had tried to prepare herself for that. She certainly was not prepared for this. She closed her eyes tightly when the first heated rod approached Will's beautiful skin.
"What is your real name?" she heard Golek ask.
"William Thomas Riker, First Officer of the Ent-" Will grinded his teeth together to keep from screaming when the rod touched his abdomen.
"State your real name!" Golek repeated as the smell of charred flesh radiated about the room.
"William Thomas Riker!" he said and focused on a point in the distance, forbidding his eyes to move from that spot.
Again, again, and again...Riker felt the burning of his skin. Sometime after the fifth jab, Golek set the stick down and Riker wiped the sweat from his brow off onto his bicep.
A single bright light was lowered from the ceiling and was placed no less than thirty centimeters from Riker's face. The intense glare and heat forced him to turn away as much as the shackles would allow, which wasn't near enough.
He remained that way for untold minutes as Golek spoke to one of his soldiers in another room, leaving Deanna and Beverly to stare helplessly at his tortured body.
Deanna watched as he gripped his wrist restraints and pulled himself up to take a deep breath of air. His muscles flexed and quivered under the strain of his own weight and a second later, he dangled loosely once again.
Her mind drifted briefly as she thought of Thomas, and what he must have gone through while being detained in one of the Cardassian's labor camps. It certainly was no surprise that he escaped, especially if he had the determination Will did. When she first heard the news hat he was working for the Maquis and was arrested as he attempted to steal the Defiant from Deep Space Nine, she felt a great deal of sadness knowing she might have been able to prevent that.
Will convinced her that Thomas was living his own life now, doing things as
he chose to do, and nothing would have prevented a bullhead such as himself from
doing what he wanted to do.
Deanna remembered the way Will made her laugh that night to get her mind off the shocking news. She remembered his brotherly concern he showed and more importantly, she remembered sensing his love for her.
She shook her head of the memory and looked up as Beverly scanned his body. "He'll be fine if we can get to him soon," she whispered.
Golek re-entered the room and Will proudly pulled himself upright. "It appears we have some good news. It seems as though your brother has been found," Golek began to laugh evilly. "He's here...on this hell whole of a planet! Can you imagine that?" he continued to laugh even when he sliced across Will's chest with his knife.
Blood dripped in faint splatters against the smooth gray floor of the room. The body that hung over the crimson dots held his head high, seemingly oblivious to anything except the sadistic character that approached from the side.
Beverly thought for a moment that Deanna was going to pull away from her captor and rush Golek from behind, but the tiny Betazoid woman calmed herself down and now had her eyes tightly clamped shut.
The Cardassian leader smiled as he graded his artwork displayed on the fleshy mat before him. Five large blistered burns and a bleeding slash gave the commander's broad torso a wide mixture of muted colors. And when he flashed the blade of the knife back into Will's view, Riker thrust his chin forward in a regal manner and waited for the next blow. Only it never came.
"You have great courage, Riker," Golek commended, and placed the knife back in its sheath. "And greater strength. Most men would have been blathering idiots by now."
Riker remained silent, unsure as to what Golek's intentions were now. "You must think I'm a ruthless, cold-blooded killer...?"
"The thought has crossed my mind," Will said honestly.
"Then you must think that I am willing to do just about anything to get you to talk?"
"And you probably think that you can withstand much more...if need be. It would be for the good of Starfleet. That is, if you truly are William."
"I can...and I am."
Golek leaned in and whispered. "But what if it isn't you that I begin to torture. What if its one of your friends." His eyes moved to where the women were standing. "What then? Would you try and play hero...or would the officer in you stand proud and watch them die?"
"I would find no pride in watching my fellow officers die, Golek. But they know the choices, they know the consequences. They are prepared to do what it takes as well as I am." Will tried to make it sound as cold as he could, hoping that would keep Golek from turning to them. He lifted himself up again to allow his chest to expand as he inhaled and immediately felt a gush of warm blood weave its way past the hair of his chest and down his body.
Surprised that he still had the strength to lift himself, he wondered quickly, just how much more he could conjure up. Will gestured with his head for Golek to come closer. "They're not crying are they? I mean, I hate to see women in tears."
Golek looked over Will's shoulder. The moment he focused on Deanna, her eyes popped wide open.
"NOW!" Will yelled the same time he brought his knees up and wrapped them around Goleks neck.
Deanna used her knee as well and plowed it into the lone soldier's groin while Beverly kicked up and caught the wailing Cardassian in the face with her foot.
Will continued to squeeze his muscular legs together and when he saw Golek reaching down for his knife, he twisted around and snapped the Caradassian's thick neck in one powerful motion. "Get me down!" Will called.
Deanna found the controls and lowered Will to the floor while Beverly rushed to the wounded man and waited to unlatched the wrist restraints. The skin of his arms were damp with a cold sweat and both women began massaging the muscles to increase the circulation.
"Pants, please?" If dangling nude in front others wasn't humiliation enough, he decided that he could at least escape with some sort of dignity.
Beverly found them in a corner and tossed them and his boots to him. With a little help standing, he graciously accepted Deanna's body as a crutch to lean against. "We've got to find a way out of here, pronto."
Beverly used Will's shredded shirt to wipe at the cut, making him wince and jump back. "Sorry," she apologized and threw the stained shirt down. "Let's go back the way we came. Hopefully no one is in the shuttle area. How fast can you move, Commander?"
"As fast as it takes." Will looked down to Deanna as she helped him put his boots on and the moment she was done, she rose and placed a hand on his forearm to stop him from walking away too quickly.
"Will, what about Tom?" she said softly and with much concern.
Riker felt as if a thousand pound weight just dropped from the ceiling onto his head. "Shit," he cursed under his breath. "I've made enough bad decisions this mission, whats one more?" He looked first to Beverly before his gaze settled on Deanna's wearied features. "I don't expect the two of you to follow me on this."
"We've come this far. Do you honestly think we'd quit on you now?"
Will looked to his friend, then to his lover wishing they would just go and find safety, but deep down, he knew he would need every hand he could get. "All right. Let's find him," he said as he grabbed a disruptor and the pain stick from the Cardassian's.
They maneuvered through the dark corridors easily. These have to be the most incompetent smugglers, or we're being set up, Will thought. Checking every door they passed, there was no sign of anyone, let alone Thomas. Finally, hearing music coming from a room at the far end, Will gripped the disruptor tightly in his fist and slowly opened the door.
Squinting through the offensive smoke that hung in the air of the small room like a dense fog, he could see Ghrafton sitting in chair being serviced by what he assumed to be a prostitute. His head was tossed back and he seemed oblivious to his voyeurs. Will motioned for the women to wait outside and he closed the door behind him.
Thankfully, the blaring music suppressed the sound of his footsteps as he approached the chair.
"I seem to have caught you at a bad time," Will said as he held the disruptor in the face of Ghrafton.
Ghrafton jerked upright and nearly fell over the arm of the chair as he scooted away from the big man. "H-how d-did.."
Will pointed to the prostitute then to the wall, telling her to stand away from her client. Nervously gathering up her clothes, she complied quickly.
"You're going to tell me what I want to know, aren't you?" Will bent down and pulled the young man up by the hair.
"I don't know anything!" he was almost in tears.
"I find that hard to believe." Will pointed the disruptor down to the man's groin as he stared at the man's frightened face. "Where is my brother?"
"Mmm-hmm," Will smiled. "You know, the guy who looks just like me!"
"He's being held in a room below the cargo area!" the prostitute cried out.
"Shut-up bitch!" Ghrafton growled and was immediately backhanded by Will.
"Thats no way to treat a lady," Will admonished.
"She's no lady!" Ghrafton said as he rubbed his offended cheek.
"And you're no gentleman." Will clenched his good fist and nailed the kid across the jaw, knocking him unconscious and to the floor. He looked to the women. "How do I get there?"
Thomas Riker sank to the floor in submission when the Cardassian guard
threatened him with another blow from the metal rod. He had learned quickly that
that was the only way to please the reptilian jailers, especially when they were
And this guard was undoubtedly bored out of his mind.
Just my luck, he thought. I break away from a prison only to land on a planet ruled by Cardassian gangs. Fate had definitely been unkind to him. After his rescue from Nervala IV, he lost the love of his life, went AWOL from Starfleet, joined the renegade Maquis freedom fighters, stole a Starfleet ship, and was handed over to the Cardassians as payment. Not exactly a future he could have predicted for himself when he was stranded alone on the planet.
Still kneeling down on the hard floor, he heard a noise that made him and his guard both whirl in the direction from which it came. A split second later, the door to his cell area blasted open, sending shards of metal and concrete spiraling in all directions.
Thomas immediately covered his head to protect himself and when the dust finally settled and the explosive noise had stopped, he glanced to his right and spotted his captor's head filled with different sizes of metal shavings. Dead.
He rose quickly to his feet and took two steps before he felt as if the floor was about to give way under his feet. A quick glance down proved that it wasn't the floor that was wobbly, but rather his knees.
A strong arm grabbed him from behind and a voice that he was sure to have come from an angel, spoke, "Hello, Thomas."
The concussive explosion had his head spinning and when another familiar voice sounded, he shook his head to rid himself of the ghosts he assumed were haunting him. "Can you walk?" the baritone voice asked.
Squinting his eyes against the dust that hovered in the air, he spotted a shapely form standing near. It was a form he knew all too well, after all, he seen it night after night in his dreams.
The baritone voice spoke again, "We need to get out of here."
The arms that held him steady moved away and though his eyes feasted on the woman who inched closer, he softly said, "Hello, brother."
If given the proper circumstances, Deanna would have fallen to her knees and
wept from the sheer impact of the myriad of raw emotions flowing from Thomas.
It was like a kaleidescope effect, one emotion would come to the forefront
for but an instant before it would change and another would take shape. She
sensed his happiness of being rescued, albeit, buried underneath the more
aggressive feelings like guilt, shame, and...love.
After all this time, she could still sense his love.
Deanna felt Beverly's gentle nudge. "C'mon. Let's go."
Thomas reached for her and though he stood right in front of her, she pretended to ignore the proffered hand and followed Will out the door.
Once outside the shuttle area, Will leaned heavily against a wall and slipped to the ground in exhaustion. Beverly kneeled next to him and in a hushed tone, began to evaluate his condition.
One quick glance at the injuries, and Tom immediately knew what his brother endured. "Can you walk?" he asked.
Will nodded and drew in a quick breath when Beverly placed a hand on his abdomen near the burns.
"Good, because the Cardassian's will be all over us in a matter of minutes. There must have been a meeting somewhere, for us to have escaped so easily." Tom removed his outer jacket and dropped it on Will's thighs. "Lost your shirt in a fight again?" he said with a slightly amused tone.
"You could say that," Deanna moved over and helped Will with the jacket when she saw him struggle.
Thomas witnessed the gesture and passed it off as just being Deanna's kindness showing. "Ready to move?" he asked and turned away.
"Hold it." Will grabbed his arm harshly. "How do we know you're not going to stab us in the back like you did Starfleet and turn us back in to the Cardassians?"
Thomas jerked his arm free and stepped up to Will. "You don't want to get into this now."
"Why should we trust you, Thomas?" Will growled so as to keep his voice low in volume.
"Because if you think for one moment, I'm going to do something that will please those fucking snakes...you're gravely mistaken."
Deanna interceded and pushed the two men apart. "He's right, Will. I sense no deception from him." She looked at the man she loved with pleading eyes. "He wants to help us."
Will let out a long shallow breath and slowly extended an arm. "Lead the way."
Staying clear of the main streets, the quartet silently ducked in and out of alleys as they made their way to a place that Thomas promised would be safe. A place where he said they could freshen up and Will's injuries could be tended to. Grateful for his willingness to help, Deanna gave him a brief hug just before they entered a building.
"Thank you," she whispered. She had not intended it to be a long hug, but rather just a simple gesture of thanks. Unfortunately, Thomas' arms lingered around her body and she was now able to feel how thin he had become. No doubt, due to the time he spent in the labor camp.
Whether intentional or not, Thomas' cheek brushed ever so closely to Deanna's when he released her that it made her jump back slightly in surprise. Color stole into her features and she was forced to look away in embarrassment.
"Wait here," he whispered and opened the back door to enter.
Deanna went to Will who was slumped over in pain. "Do you hurt that bad?" she asked.
He nodded and Beverly slowly unzipped the jacket to reveal his chest wound was swollen and weeping an amber colored fluid. "Let's hope they have some sort of antibiotics. I see some infection setting in."
Deanna wiped a tendril of hair off his forehead and cupped his cheek. "Imzadi..."
Will looked at her and gave her a weak smile. "I'll be fine."
She reached for his hand and squeezed. 'You always are."
The door that Thomas had disappeared into, flew back open and a man staggered out, falling from the short stoop and into Beverly's arms.
"Damn!" he exclaimed, causing Beverly to recoil from his pungent breath. "If I knew what I would find out here, I'da left hours ago!"
Beverly steadied the man and backed away. "How much?" he slurred.
"You know...how much for a little..." Drunk or not, he managed enough agility to whip his arm around and hit Beverly squarley on the rear, "tush?"
Will stepped up and put himself between the drunk and the doctor. "You better consider leaving now, or..."
"Or what? Looks like you've already gotten the shit beat outta ya t'night. You wantin' s'more?" The man lifted his fists like he was ready to fight then staggered back two steps and fell over. Passed out cold.
Will let his shoulders slump back to an exhausted position. "Thank god," he said. "I don't think I can take much more of this place."
Then, almost as an afterthought, Will hit his forehead with the palm of a hand when he realized, "He just brought us to a brothel!"
"A what?" Deanna wasn't sure if she heard him correctly.
"A brothel. A bordello. A whore-"
"I got it!" Deanna interrupted. "As long as it has a bath...I don't care what it is."
Will opened his mouth to protest when the door opened again, this time it was Thomas standing, waving a hand to enter. "They've got rooms for us."
Beverly and Deanna flanked Will and guided him into the building. And as they walked past Thomas who stood holding the door, Will glared at him and mouthed the question, "A whorehouse?"
Thomas simply shrugged and closed the door.
They made up two flights of stairs and stood in the hall. Thomas opened the first door and looked in. "We've got two rooms," he said. "This one, and the next one."
Beverly, horrified at the thought of spending the night with Thomas, quickly glanced to Deanna. "We'll take this one," she said and grabbed Deanna's arm and pulled her inside.
Will started to protest but the soft, apologetic look on Deanna's face told him to remain quiet. He started to follow Thomas when Beverly appeared back in the doorway. "Will, after you get cleaned up, I'd like to take a look at that chest."
He shook his head and a brief mischievous grin appeared as he continued his path. "How is it, Crusher, you're always wanting to look at my body? You're not trying to tell me something, are you?"
The door slamming behind told him exactly what she was thinking.
Deanna wrapped a towel around her body and stepped from the bathroom. "I never thought I'd wish for a Starfleet uniform to wear."
"I know. The thought of putting these same clothes back on makes me sick to my stomach," Beverly said. "At least you got out of them for a while. Do you think Will is ready for me yet?"
"I would think-" Deanna paused as a knock from the other side of their wall echoed through the small room. "Theres your answer."
"Are you coming?"
Deanna looked down at her attire. "It might be best that I stay here."
Beverly nodded in understanding. "I won't be long."
"Kiss Will goodnight for me." Deanna joked.
Beverly froze in the door way and laughed. "A peck on the cheek, or do you want a long, hot, wet one that'll leave him breathless?"
The doctor ducked the tossed pillow and quickly closed the door before another projectile was launched.
"All right, Riker. Show me what'cha got."
Will's eyebrows rose at Crusher's innuendo. Laying in the bed with the sheet tossed over him, he pushed himself up to his elbows and pretended he was going to follow through with her orders.
"No! No. Jeez. I was joking. Stay as you are." Beverly laughed and sat down next to him, pulling the sheet down to his waist to begin her assessment. "Where's Thomas?"
"He said he was going to get more supplies. He left these here for you." He pointed to a pile of miscellaneous medical supplies piled on the nightstand.
"Looks a lot better once you've gotten all the dried blood off. How do you feel?" She began opening a topical antibiotic cream and applied it to his chest.
"Tired. Is Deanna sleeping?"
"She just got out of the shower just before you knocked."
Will groaned. "Did you have to tell me that?"
"Sorry." She smiled and looked at the broken knuckle. "Does Thomas know?"
"About you two?"
Will shook his head. "It hasn't come up yet. I'm guessing Deanna would rather tell him herself." He shivered at the sensation of the cold salve that squirted against his stomach. "Somehow, I don't think he'll take another disappointment very easily."
Beverly finished appyling the last bandage and stood to leave. "If you have any more pain, your allowed two more of those pills in about six hours." She pointed to a container on the dresser.
"I'll be fine. Thank you, Doctor. Have a goodnight."
"I will. Especially after I submerse myself in that long awaited shower. Night-night."
Deanna rolled down the blanket and began to inspect her bed before she crawled in. Much to her surprise, it was rather clean looking. She began to remove her towel when she heard a knock at the door. Tightening the loosened coverup, she placed her ear to the door and asked, "Who is it?"
"The man of your dreams," the voice called out.
Giggling, she opened the door and she stared wide-eyed at the man standing in the hall wearing nothing but a towel, and assorted bandages draped across his torso. "Will! Are you crazy? Get in here." She grabbed at the waistline and yanked him into the room. "You, naked...inside the halls of a brothel is not such a good idea."
"Afraid I might be solicited?" he joked and looked around, making sure Beverly was truly in the shower.
"Afraid they'd put you to work!" Deanna laughed. "Is something wrong?"
"No. I just wanted to make sure you were settled in okay."
She waved her arm around the room. "As settled as can be." She gave him a wry look. "Something tells me that wasn't the real reason you came over."
"Damn empathic abilities." He pulled her into him and smiled against her lips. "Honestly, I just wanted a goodnight kiss."
Will ran his hands down the length of her body and rested them just underneath the bottom edge of the towel against the smooth skin of her rear. Deanna laced her fingers behind his neck and pulled his head down, giving him his reason for the visit. Seconds later, they broke apart but still held each other close.
"Goodnight," she whispered into his chest, refusing to remove her arms just yet.
Will, clung to her body as if he was about to say good-bye forever and kissed the top of her still damp head. "I love you."
Deanna stepped back slightly and placed her hands on his chest, backing him up to the wall. "If we were alone right now, you know I'd do to you?" The evil glint in her eye told him she was thinking of her previously confessed fantasy and he couldn't help but grin. "First off, I'd take that little towel you have wrapped around your ass and--"
"DAMMIT TO HELL!" Bev's voice screamed from within the bathroom. "There's no more HOT WATER!!"
Deanna leaned her shaking head against Will's chest. "You better go. This is about to get real ugly," she laughed.
Will nodded and fumbled with the door knob. A second later he was gone.
"Give it a few minutes, Bev. Maybe it'll come back!" Deanna called.
"Great! So I get to stand here with shampoo in my hair?"
"Or rinse it out cold," Deanna mumbled to herself.
Again, there was a knock at the door. Deanna smiled. "Okay, okay," she said and opened it. All she saw before she threw herself around the body and kissed him hard was the beard and blue eyes. But the moment she placed her hands against his shoulders and felt clothing where only moments ago was bare skin, she jumped back about three meters, completely shocked by what she had just done.
The blue eyes from the other side of the threshold gleamed with delight and excitement. "Wow," he said. "You know how long I dreamed you would do that to me again?"
Trying to regain her composure, Deanna fumbled with her towel, securing it a little more firmly. And when she looked up, he was standing close. "He-Hello Thomas."
Standing breathless with her back against a wall, Deanna gasped as she tasted the reality of what she had just done. Devouring a Riker in itself was not so bad...but devouring the wrong Riker had consequences she refused to imagine just yet.
Her lips twitched and two words exited through them, but for the life of her, she had no idea what they were. All she knew right now was that she just created a whole slough of problems that were not needed at this particular moment.
Blinking herself back to the present, she watched as Thomas layed out various articles of clothing on her bed.
"I wasn't sure of your sizes, so I had to guess," he said and with a twinkle in his eye, he turned to face her. "You, for obvious reasons, were a little easier to figure out." He approached where she still stood. "I just told the woman you fit right about here," he then reached out and pulled her to him.
There was a moment of hesitation before she allowed herself to be drawn into his chest. "Thomas..." she whispered.
"Sshhh. Let me have this moment...please?"
Deanna felt her body melt against his and mold into his embrace, but her reaction wasn't because of shared feelings. Rather, it was the years of anguish and pain resurfacing and though she had a million questions as to why he chose the path he did, they remained silent and for reasons she could not even describe, she allowed him to hold her...and gave him this moment.
The silence continued as did their embrace until the bathroom door opened and Beverly stepped out. "Oh..." the doctor turned to head back into the bathroom but Deanna's words halted her.
"Thomas brought us these," she said and gratefully pulled away from him. "I'm guessing this ones yours." She held up a pants outfit which hung to the floor against her body.
Beverly looked uncomfortable standing in just a towel and Thomas saw that as his clue to leave. "Have a good night, ladies," he said to both as he stepped out, but his eyes were clearly focused on Deanna.
Once the door closed, Deanna immediately felt Beverly's penetrating glare and the empath fell onto her bed, confused by her own actions and wanting desperately to bury her head under a pillow.
"I'm afraid to ask..." Bev was smiling.
"Then don't." Deanna wiggled her legs under the covers then let her torso fall back, bouncing as it hit the mattress.
"But this is too good to let slip by. So...what the heck, was *that* all about?"
Deanna groaned. "Gods Beverly, what have I done?"
"What happened?" Beverly flopped belly down, onto her bed and kicked up her feet like a school girl getting ready to listen to her best friend gossip.
"I kissed him," Deanna admitted, and even as the words fell from her lips, she still couldn't believe what happened.
"Oh, jeez, Dea! You mean, you kissed him? Or...you *kissed* him?"
Deanna allowed herself one quick look to her friend before she refocused on the ceiling. "Beverly, I think I touched his tonsils."
Deanna flipped to her side then and stared at her best friend. "But I swear to you, I thought it was Will." She buried her face in her hand. "I swear to the gods, I thought it was Will," she repeated softly.
"You of all people should be able to tell the difference, Dea! How could not know it wasn't Will?"
Deanna blushed. "Because while you were in the shower, Will stopped by first. Then you screamed about the lack of hot water and I'm fairly certainly he didn't want to hang around after that and feel your wrath so he left. Then not more than five seconds later, there was a knock at the door, and assuming it was Will for one last goodnight kiss...I launched myself at him, and...nearly devoured the poor boy."
"But when I came out, you were still hugging him?"
"I-I felt...oh shit, Bev...I don't know what I felt." Deanna sighed heavily.
"So now, the big question...are you going to tell Will what happened?" Beverly asked as she climbed under her blankets.
"I think the three of us are overdue for one long discussion."
Beverly reached over and turned out the light. Not a second later as her head hit the pillow, a devilish grin grew across the doctor's features, and she was almost sorry now that the light was off, preventing her from seeing the empaths reaction as she asked, "Who was better?"
"What?" came a confused voice.
"Who...was better. Will or Tom?"
Deanna sounded tentative as she asked, "In regards to what?"
"You know...in bed?"
The light on the nightstand flew on and Beverly got her wish seconds before a
pillow was shoved in her face.
And as Deanna lay back down and the light turned back off, reluctantly, she began to consider the question even as she slowly drifted off to sleep.
Will donned his new shirt and tucked it into the pants Thomas brought for him. Looking in the mirror, he scratched at his unkept beard and rubbed the bruise against his jaw. Still tender but feeling a ton better than he did the day before, he walked from the bathroom toward the door. "I'm going to go see if the women are awake yet."
Will began to close the door behind him when he caught a glimpse of
Thomas' back as his twin got up from the bed.
Long keloidal scars criss-crossed his brother's back and from what Will saw before Tom turned away, there must have been about twenty of them nearly covering every inch.
I hope it was worth it, brother...I hope it was worth it, Will thought, and finished closing the door.
"So how's my favorite patient?" Beverly smiled as she answered the door.
"Well enough to fight again, Doc."
"I was afraid of that," Beverly frowned. "Deanna should be about out." She motioned toward the bathroom. "I'm gonna go see about breakfast," Bev said and graciously excused herself from the room.
Will knocked on the bathroom door and when Deanna opened it, he snuck in and closed it behind him. "Good morning," he kissed against her lips.
"Good morning to you too," Deanna smiled. "Feeling better?"
"I was feeling fine last night, but I think you knew that."
Deanna giggled. "Yes. I suppose I did."
"I like this on you." Will eyed her purple blouse and black pants. "Thomas has good taste."
The mere mention of his name brought a frown to her beautiful features, and WIll picked up on it instantly. "What's wrong? Did he do something to you?"
She could see his chest rising as he sucked in a deep breath and if she didn't calm him down quickly, she knew he would jump to conclusions and return to kill his brother. "Will, lets go out there. I need to tell you something."
Sitting him down on the unmade bed, Deanna paced in front of him. "After you left last night, there was a knock at the door. I just assumed it was you again because it was only seconds after you left, but it wasn't. It was--"
"Thomas," Will answered for himself. "Did he do something to you, Deanna?"
"No! He just came to drop off these clothes but like I said, I thought it was you and I...I--"
"I kissed him like I would have kissed you last night." She saw his confusion and felt his jealousy. "Will, we need to tell him before he thinks he has a chance."
Will nodded and stood up. Taking Deanna by the shoulders, he met and held her gaze and asked with complete sincerity, "Does he? Does he have a chance?"
"Will, I can't believe you would even ask that!" She stepped back out of his reach. "Are you that insecure with 'us' that you would even think that?" Of course, she couldn't admit that the thought did cross her mind many times throughout the night.
"I'm sorry," he shook his head and repeated, "I'm sorry, Dea. Its easy for you to know how I feel, and sometimes I wish I could be empathic as well."
She went to him again and placed her hands lovingly against his chest. "Will, I know my actions last night must seem questionable to you, but you must know that I love you, William Riker. And no other." She kissed the easily accessible skin that shown in the v-neck of his shirt. "Only you."
Taking her hand, he gently ushered her to the door. "Come on. Let's go have that talk."
Thomas rose from the bed where he was sitting and walked to the window. "I'm sorry, Tom." He heard Will speak.
Shrugging his shoulders, he continued to gaze at nothing in particular, and laughed rather callously. "I just seem to make nothing but wrong decisions these days."
"You have a chance again, Tom," This time it was Deanna who spoke. "You have been given another opportunity to do something with your life. Move on, make something of yourself."
"Yeah. Sure," he didn't sound too convinced.
"Tom, I realize you don't have any reason to help us anymore so if you have to back out now, I'll understand. But we need to contact Starfleet soon. Do you know how we can do that?"
After a moment, Tom turned around and nodded. "There's a woman down stairs that has connections. But you need to be the one to ask her. I'm not exactly on good terms with her anymore."
Will grinned. "What'd you do...sleep with her sister?"
Tom looked to Deanna then to Will and smiled. "Sisters," he emphasized the plural. "And I'm not sure what she'll charge, either. So don't be too surprised when you find out."
Will swallowed hard and felt Deanna's tightened grip on his hand. "Well, better now than later. Let's go."
Deanna clutched Will's arm tightly as they made their way downstairs to the room occupied by Miss J. Lucy.
"Miss J. Lucy? Wonder what the 'J' stands for'?" Will mumbled as they made their way down the stairwell.
"You know what they say about curiosity, Will," Deanna answered and eyed him cautiously.
Will laughed and looked quickly to the woman who held his arm as if it were her only possession in the world. "Trying to make sure everyone knows that I'm taken?"
For the first time, Deanna realized just how hard she really was holding on to him and reluctantly relaxed her grip.
"You know," Will mused, "what that makes you look like, don't you?"
"What are you talking about?"
He stood off to the side and smirked, nodding to only her body in general. "That."
Deanna stopped walking and folded her arms across her chest. Attempting to look clearly annoyed at first, she found it impossible to hold back the corners of her lips from tugging up to form a sinister grin. "You mean this?" Deanna licked her lips seductively and slowly ran her finger down the middle of her chest pulling her shirt down as she went.
Leaning into Will, she raised her leg to rest on his thigh and began to nibble at his neck just as three women strutted by.
"Ms. Troi," Will gasped, "there isn't a day that goes by that you don't do something that just simply amazes the hell out of me."
She removed herself from his embrace as soon as the women were out of sight and headed down the hall again. "I just like keeping you up on your toes, thats all."
He smirk grew even bigger as he watched her walk, focusing at the way her hips swayed back and forth. "My toes aren't the only thing you like to keep up."
She stopped walking again but did not turn around for fear of him seeing her laugh at his crude joke. "Are you coming, or not?"
Will's eyebrows rose at her supposed innocent question and he walked up behind her to whisper in her ear, "Not yet, but the day is looking promising."
With that, she turned around sharply and playfully slapped him on the shoulder. "Now, I know where I get it from."
"I better be the only place you get *it* from, my dear."
He lifted his hands in surrender. "Sorry." Facing the door to his left, he said, "I think this is it."
Raising his hand to knock, he quickly noted the door was slightly ajar and called out, "Hello? Miss Lucy?" Pushing it open enough to look in, he scanned the darkened room. "Hello? Anyone home?"
"Maybe she went out for breakfast," Deanna said.
"Maybe." Will took two steps inside the room noticing an upturned table and various decorative items scattered about the floor. "Get some light in here, could you?"
Deanna walked to the window and drew open the thick drapes, squinting as the sunlight broke through. "Better?" She turned around and saw him sifting wide-eyed through some items on the floor. "What is it?"
Deanna walked to where Will was kneeling and looked over his shoulder. "Oh, my."
Various toys and other sexual paraphernalia littered the floor just behind the couch. Cuffs, chains, whips, and vibrators of all sizes seemed to have fallen out of a drawer when the table was knocked over. Will picked up a set of leather wrist restraints with his index finger and chuckled before he let them drop back to the floor.
"No souvenirs, Imzadi," Will joked as he saw one item in particular she was staring at.
The item was about thirty centimeters in length and about eight centimeters in diameter. "Tell me that things not real." Deanna said.
"Wanna try it?"
"No," she said disgustedly, then looked to her lover, "I have every bit of all that I could ever need."
Will smiled broadly.
"I can't believe women use those things! Gods, what is that?" Deanna pointed to another item that was nothing but three balls connected by a thin wire.
"Ah, the innocence returns,' Will laughed.
"What is it?" Deanna shared his laugh but demanded an explanation.
"Dea, use your imagination. Don't make me explain it!"
The contorted look on her face proved her understanding but she couldn't help but ask what one more item was. Kicking it with the tip of her boot, she knocked over a pump-type looking item. "And this?"
"Trust me, you don't need it," he said.
"It looks like its a male item." The long cylindrical pump rocked back in forth from her probing.
Will blushed. "Okay, let me put it to you this way. Maybe someday, when I get old and worn out, and you finally reach 'The Phase', perhaps you'll find out then. But for now? You...we, don't need it."
"Oh." Her upper lip curled with the thought that there might come a
day when they might need mechanical help in order to enjoy sex. For some reason,
she always assumed Will-the-Thrill would last forever...or as long as she did.
Placing her hand on his shoulder, she gentle tapped with her index finger until he looked up.
"How do you know what all this stuff is?"
Will stood and held her hands, trying not to laugh, explained, "Look, you know how you've shown me various oils, rubs, etcetera that enhance the sexual pleasure for the both of us?"
"Well, humans tend to be a bit more...selfish, regarding sex. Its difficult for us to want to please the other first."
"But you're not like that."
Will shifted where he stood and Deanna hid her smirk as she knew she was making him uncomfortable. "I've learned that if you please your partner first, the rewards far outweigh the frustration you endure before."
"I 'frustrate' you?" Deanna said in a mock rebuking tone.
"No! Gods, no. Its just that...look, can we talk about this later?" He felt small beads of sweat beginning to form on his forehead.
You better believe I'm not letting this go by, she thought, but said outloud. "Sure."
Deanna watched the deep red color of his cheeks fade until he resumed his normal color. "Good," Will said and moved toward the bedroom.
Deanna remained near the door and continued to ponder the pump-like item when she heard Will gasp. Rushing into the room, she saw immediately what Will did. A woman, presumably Miss Lucy, laying in the doorway to the bathroom, completely nude, and looking completely dead. "Go find Dr. Crusher!" Will called.
Deanna ran from the room and back up to their floor, returning minutes later with Beverly in tow. But when they took the last turn before the Lucy's room, a large group of people had already formed and now stood just outside the doorway.
"Excuse me! Let me through. I'm a doctor!" Beverly called out, trying to push her way to the door.
"And I'm security!" A gigantic man stepped in front of Beverly and halted her progression. "There's no need for a doctor. The whore's dead."
Deanna tried to look around the muscular man to find Will but there was too little space between the guard and the doorframe. "My friend was inside. Can we talk to him?"
The guard gave the Betazoid a sidelong look and asked, "Was he about my height, dark hair, beard?"
"They just took him into custody."
"Custody? For what?" Deanna asked.
"Look, lady," the man grabbed Deanna's arm, "maybe you should come with us, if you know anything..."
Deanna tried to shake his hold off her arm, but his grip tightened. "Don't make me knock you out too." He waved a phaser in front of Deanna's face.
"What are you charging the man with?" Beverly quickly asked.
"Murder? With what evidence?" Beverly couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"We have witness' who say he was the last jon here last night and we have his fingerprints on the bitch's toys."
"This is ludicrous!" Deanna exclaimed. "He's never met that woman, EVER!"
Another man, wearing the same uniform as the guard's walked up, "Then how do explain the same DNA found in the semen collected from her crotch, matches that man's DNA?"
Beverly and Deanna both looked at one another, "Tom," they said in unison.
Riker's face smashed against the wall as two guards began to frisk his body. Coming across the disruptor he had in his waistband, they each gave him an elbow in the head.
"Sit down!" they ordered and Will complied.
Looking up for the first time at the men who held him captive, Will cringed when he recognized one their faces. "Hello, Isaac."
"This is going to be a fantastic day, don't you agree Ghrafton?"
Will hung his head nearly in defeat. "This just keeps getting more fucked up, each day," he mumbled to himself
"What the hell, Isaac!" Will shook his head and tried to pull his hands free from the cuffs attached to the back of the chair. "Let me guess, next you're going to tell me you're the fucking mayor of this shitty city?"
The young man laughed. "No. But thats not a bad idea."
"Great. Fucking great. A corrupted cop-"
"Cops." Ghrafton corrected.
"No wonder this planet stinks!" Will accepted a slap across his face. "You hit like a girl, too."
"What'd you say?"
Will looked up and met Isaac's glare with such fierceness and frustration that the young man backed off slightly. "You heard me. How long do you think this little charade is going to last?"
"As long as it takes for us to get our money, and get out. But you, starboy...had to go and ruin what we had built up." He jabbed Will in the ribs with his painstick. "Without Golek, we have to find another buyer, asshole." Isaac stood behind Will's chair and placed the stick under his chin and pulled back as hard as he could. "Bring the women in...they'll want to see this." Isaac snarled as he firmed his grip on the bar, smiling when he heard Riker gasping to breathe.
Ghrafton paled as soon as he heard Isaac's order. Leaning in to his friend's ear, he whispered, "The..uh, women...they escaped. The others are looking for them now."
Knowing Isaac would take his frustration out on him, Will braced for the onslaught of weak jabs and pathetic punches he thought for sure would begin any moment. But when he felt the stick drop from his throat, he cautiously looked up to see Isaac leaning against the wall smirking and nodding his head.
"This might work better yet," Isaac rubbed his chin in thought. "I think...I'll let the boys down in the prison deal with you." He stook a step and grabbed Will by a handful of hair. "They outta like a pretty boy like this. Don't you think, Ghraf?"
"Something tells me he'll be bent over in no time at all!"
Will shook his head loose and glared at the men. "Which one of you killed that woman?"
The men looked at each other and laughed some more.
Will shook his head in disgust. "I never would have guessed you had the brains to pull this together?"
"With a little help from your brother, it just seemed way too easy."
"What did Thomas have to do with this?"
"We know all about your 'twin', Riker. So when we saw him leaving that bitch's place, it all fell into place. We knew he'd tell you to seek her out." Ghrafton chimed in.
"Believe me," Isaac sat on the table in front of Will,. "we had no plans to kill her, but when she didn't want to cooperate, well...we took care of her."
"After she took damn good care of us!" Ghrafton smiled.
"And now that you've been implicated in the murder, it'll be fun to see you humiliated and screwed until you're blue in the face! There's no escape this time, asswipe!"
Beverly's foot throbbed in pain from the bruise she received on her insole from the quick kick to Deanna's captor. Once again on the run, they made it out the front door and around the back of the building before they allowed themselves a chance to breathe.
"What next?" Beverly panted. "This is getting ridiculous!"
"I know," Deanna was bent over, catching her breath. "I don't think this could get more screwed up even if we tried."
Hearing a noise, the women flipped around and scanned the alley. Beverly saw him first, and frowned. "Wanna bet?"
"Follow me!" Thomas Riker yelled from a doorway not too far from where they stood.
Deanna looked to her friend in disbelief and shook her head. "What did I just say about getting screwed up?"
"If you want to find Will...FOLLOW ME!" Tom gestured with his arm for them to follow.
"Do we have a choice?" Beverly asked quickly as they were already moving towards the Riker twin.
"God help us," Deanna mumbled as they picked up speed.
Wearing nothing but his underwear, the guards walked Will down the cell block and into the shower area. "Remove them," they ordered.
Will stepped from his shorts and into the stall where he was immediately treated to powerful blast of cold water being shot from a hose one of the guards held. Being order to turn in circles, Will tried to shield his groin from the stinging spray but he was quickly told to hold his hands straightout. Nearly doubling over from the pain, the water stopped and a towel was tossed into his face.
"Stick him in with Granger," he heard someone say before he was rudely pushed back down the hall and into a cold cell occupied by one other inmate.
Will wrapped the towel around himself and sat on the edge of what was to be his cot. After minutes of awkward silence and the feeling that he was being scrutinized from head to toe, Will glanced up to his cell mate. "Problem?"
The man rubbed his thick bearded jaw and stood up from his bed. "Hot damn...today must be my lucky day," he grinned maliciously seconds before his head thumped against the wall and he fell back down to his bed unconscious.
Thomas guided the women into a secluded area of the warehouse and rested against a crate. "We have to wait here," he grunted.
"Why? You said we would be able to find Will!" Deanna yelled.
Thomas looked at the small women and marveled at her determination, wishing she'd have that same type of conviction when it came to him. "Because we do. Trust me, okay?"
Deanna laughed. "Trust you? Gods, Tom...there's evidence implicating you in that murder?"
"Me? Murder? Why are you assuming it was me?"
"Because the rapid DNA scan found your semen in her vagina, Tom." Beverly said solemnly.
"What? How do you know it wasn't Will who fucked her?" He looked to Deanna for the answer.
"Because Will isn't like that anymore."
"And I am?" He walked around in a small circle and sat back down with a defeated sigh. "I suppose I can't lie to an empath, can I? Okay, fine...I was in prison for a long time, Deanna, and-"
"I don't need an explanation, Tom. All I want to know is...did you kill her?"
Tom leaned forward and looked at the Betazoid directly in the face, removing any chance that she could read him wrong. "No, I did not kill her."
Deanna lowered her eyes as she sensed the guilt over his liaison, the embarrassment over having to use a prostitute, and more importantly, she felt his truthfulness. "I'm sorry, Thomas," she said softly.
Beverly politely excused herself from the moment and walked to another part of the warehouse.
"Deanna, I don't blame you for thinking it was me. Hell, its not like I've been the poster boy for Starfleet's rules of etiquette. But what bothered me, is that you think Will is incapable of straying and-"
"Listen, Will is not the man you met years ago. Don't even tell me what he is or is not capable of."
"He's a Riker for Christ's sake! He's capable of of anything!"
Deanna cursed herself for allowing herself to show her emotions but the frustration of the mission was clearly affecting her and tears began to fall. Tom moved to her side to comfort her but she rejected his show of concern by standing up. "You had your chance," she said softly.
"What? What did you say?"
"Nothing." She shook her head. "I shouldn't have said it."
"But you did. And if it was worth saying once, its worth saying again. And if you don't repeat yourself, I'll assume that what I thought I heard, is correct."
She glared at him through her watery eyes and sat back down next to him. "I said you had your chance."
"And how many chances did Will get?' Two? Four? Forty? Damn it Deanna, regardless of what I did, I still love you." The look in his eyes was every bit the look she'd seen from Will on countless occasions.
"Then you must know that I'm every bit as determined as Will, to get you back."
"No," she stood again, "don't do this to us, Tom. Will and I are happy. I'm as happy as I've ever been..."
"Happier than you were during our time on Betazed?" She knew that was his last chance, his last hole card he could flash. Bringing up what was probably the best time in his life...the best time of her life, until now.
Deanna faced him again and when her eyes met his, the despair she felt moved her to tears once again. "Yes."
Seconds past, and a familiar sound echoed about the open warehouse. Deanna turned around and spotted three figures materializing in a shadow. As she stepped forward to greet her friends, Tom caught her arm and swung her back around.
"I can't go with you, Dea."
"But something tells me we'll meet again. In the mean time...imzadi," Deanna gasped at his choice of words, "don't forget about me." Tom leaned forward and took her mouth wholly with his.
It wasn't a long kiss, but its intentions were clearly understood by all who witnessed it. And when Tom pulled away to leave, Deanna held her eyes tightly closed, knowing that if she watched him walk away, a part of her would certainly follow.
When he was gone, Beverly placed a hand on her friend's shoulder. "The calvary has finally arrived."
Turning around, Deanna smiled as Captain Picard, Data, and Lt. Daniels stepped forward, all thankfully out of uniform. Thomas must have warned them about unwanted Starfleet influence, she figured. "Counselor." The captain's voice was a welcome sound. "Let's go get the Commander, shall we?"
Grateful for his boots and the oversized shirt and pants that were given to him by a guard, Will Riker slipped into the garments while maintaining a careful vigil of his cell mate.
Having heard stories of prisons such as this, Will made up his mind quickly that he'd rather die than suffer what other men had gone through. If he was going to raped, it would be after one hell of a fight and long after his muscles set with rigor.
The man on the cot began to squirm and he immediately rubbed his jaw. Sitting up, he looked to the newcomer, "A fighter, huh?"
"Come at me again, and I'll rip your arms off, buddy." Will stood up trying to intimidate the man but he wasn't dissuaded.
The man stood nose to nose with the Starfleet officer and grinned. "If I don't get that tight little ass, someone else will."
"I'll take my chances." Will clenched his fist tightly and prepared the next blow when the door to his cell opened up.
"RIKER! Get out here!"
Lowering his arm, Will stepped around the inmate and out into the hall. A large grin formed on his face the moment he spotted the familiar looking shadow on the otherside of the next gate. "Captain. Its good to see you again!" Will beamed.
"As you, Number One. I see you've had some difficulties during this mission?"
"You have no idea," Will said as he shook his commanding officer's hand. "Deanna and Beverly?"
"Are safe and waiting upstairs to see you."
Will nodded appreciativey and stepped through the final gate, following Picard up the stairs. "What about my so-called charges of murder?"
With that, Picard halted in his step and faced the younger man. "They aren't budging on that detail yet. But I have Data working on the evidence."
"How much do you know of what's happened?' Will asked, hoping the ladies filled him in on much of the details.
"We'll talk more in private," Picard said and ushered Will into a small private room where Bev and Deanna were sitting.
Deanna rushed up and wrapped her arms around Will's waist and hugged him like there was no tomorrow. The embrace itself wasn't all that surprising to Picard, but the kiss that followed certainly was. Lifting an inquisitive toward Beverly, the doctor simply smiled warmly at him, then at the reunited lovers.
"I guess the cats out of the bag," Will said, letting his lips glide over Deanna's.
Feeling her cheeks grow warm with embarrassment, Deanna slowly pulled away and let Will be the one to look at their superior. "We were going to tell you, sir, when we returned."
"I see," Picard smiled as well, but the look of the consummate leader returned quickly. "More reason to get you out of here, then."
Will glanced around the room and under the table where they all sat. Satisfied that it did not appear to be bugged, he began explaining to the captain all that he knew and when he finished he reached for Deanna's hand under the table, knowing he would probably be sent back down to his cell shortly.
Midway through Will's story, Data walked in and stood in the corner, listening to the last little bit of information.
"Commander, may I ask a few questions?" the android sat down opposite Riker.
"Your fingerprints were found on various items found in her apartment. Notably, the leather restraints, the false erect penis with the vib-"
"Data!" Will held his hand over his face to hide his embarrassment. He refused to look at the captian. "I found those items on the floor, and I simply picked them up to show Couns....I mean, I pict..."
"What the commander is trying to say, Data," Deanna did better at hiding her smirk, "is that we were intrigued by the items. I was there when we found them tossed about the floor."
"I see. And the DNA match found in the semen?"
Will shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "I'm guessing Thomas had sex with her shortly before she was killed."
"He did." Deanna glanced to Will and shrugged. "Thomas told me before he left."
"There has to be a way to prove those two buffoons killed her!" Riker said.
"There were approximately three hundred sets of fingerprints found in the apartment." Data announced. "Twenty-two of those registered as the same prints found on the items you picked up."
Will subconsciously wiped his hand against his thigh, then after a second, stood up with excitement. "Ghrafton mentioned she serviced them, before she was killed! Were there any other fluids found on Lucy?"
"I got a chance to glance at the autopsy report," Beverly said. "They found just the same semen in both her her vagina, and rectum."
Discouraged, Riker sat back down in his chair. Deanna pried open his clenched fist and gripped his hand. Looking at Picard first, she sucked in a deep breath to collect her courage before turning to Crusher to ask, "What about in her stomach?"
With Beverly and Data gone to the medial examiners office, Picard took a moment and studied his burly first officer's demeanor as he sat in silence, holding the empaths hand. In contrast to the man's strikingly strong persona, Will Riker looked as vulnerable as he had ever seen. Gently stroking the feminine hand that lay on his thigh, Picard wondered if this newly formed relationship wouldn't be nothing but an exposed nerve waiting to be seared. Their friendship endured much over the years, Picard thought. But now that they were lovers once again, would they be able to perform their duties as they once did? Without question, or hesitation?
"Will, I'm sure I don't need to warn you about problems you may encounter once you return to your cell." Picard said gravely.
Will smiled, but without enthusiasm. "They made it perfectly clear what was going to happen down there. And if for some reason they've found out Starfleet is here now, that means the rest of you are in danger as well." He gave Deanna a quick look of concern. "They're prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure Starfleet does not get involved in their little trafficking scheme."
Picard leaned in to the table and placed his palms flat against the cool surface. "Too late."
Will couldn't stop the grin from forming when he felt the captain's determination. Through the years of working together, he saw this look on Picard's face only a handful of times. Most recently being when he chose to disobey direct orders and enter the battle with the Borg.
When the door to the room crashed open, Picard and Troi expected it to be
Doctor Crusher or Data. Will knew differently.
Without looking up to see the guard's snarling face and finger indicating the prisoner to exit the room, Will leaned over and kissed Deanna quickly on the cheek. "See you soon," he whispered and turned and gave Picard a confident nod.
"Be careful, Will," Picard stood as his first officer was pushed from the room.
"Aye, sir," were the last words before the door closed just as it had opened, with a booming crash.
pt16 & EPILOGUE
The unappetizing aroma of the inmates lunch filled the corridor as Will re-entered the cell block. Rudely pushed toward the line of men who were waiting for their food trays, he narrowly missed slamming into the largest of them all by a quick footed maneuvre.
"Sorry," he apologized anyway just in case the man took offense to the near miss. Straightening himself up and standing at the end of the line, he couldn't help but notice the way the guards were looking at him and laughing.
Ignoring their obvious banter at his expense became impossible, escpecially
as the inmates began laughing as well. If all the guards were in on Isaac's
conspiracy, he was in bigger trouble than he thought. Escape was impossible and
should he become cornered by the others....
It was best to not think about that.
The same guard who escorted him from the interview room began to walk toward him now, keeping one hand in his pants pocket, and brandishing a baton in the other. Placing himself between Will and the prisoner ahead of him, he pushed the commander back a few feet. "Who's the bitch?"
Will's eyes narrowed in confusion. "I don't know who you're talking about."
"The brunette, upstairs. She your wife?"
The guard's lips peeled back over his yellow teeth in a lascivious grin. "You want protection in here?" he whispered.
"Do I need it?"
"You're gonna. While you were gone, you've been assigned."
Will shrugged. "I don't understand."
"You see that guy over there?" he pointed to a huge bald headed, tatooed from head to toe, man sitting with a group of other inmates. "You belong to him. Well, actually all of them."
Will felt a shiver run down his spine. "What are you proposing?" He had to know, even though there was no chance in hell he'd consent to anything involving Deanna.
"Tell me your not that dumb?" the guard laughed.
"Maybe I am. But if you think I'm going to trade her to you, for protection...you're terribly wrong."
"Who said anything about trading." He pushed Will back up into a wall and held him there by wedging the baton between his legs . "I'm taking her whether you like it or not. And if she's any good, I might decide to return the favor."
This time Will laughed. "Forget it."
The guard brought the baton up into Will's crotch. "Perhaps you'd like to reconsider?"
Will ignored the pressure by looking the man dead square in the eyes and envisioned boring a phaser directly between them. "I'd rather take my chances."
"Suit yourself," the man growled then leaned forward to whisper. "But her ass is still mine."
There was no doubt that these guards could obtain the resources to do whatever they wanted. After seeing what Isaac and his group got away with, there was no way of insuring the safety of his friends, nor Deanna. At least she and Beverly were no longer alone and that thought made him feel slightly better. He could only hope that Picard made she and and Crusher beam back to whatever ship they came in on. But as stubborn as the Betazoid was, Will realized quickly that she would not leave the planet without a direct order.
The guard removed the baton, but not without an intentional jab in the commander's loins. "Shit," Will wheezed and cupped himself. "You guys like to do that, don't you?"
Grabbing Will at the elbow, the guard began to pull him toward the table he previously mentioned. "Hello, boys! Have you met your new guy?"
Whatever was about to happen next, Will thought and cringed, would not happen without a fight. Clinching his fists to his sides, he readied himself for whoever got up from the table first and prepared himself to get in a few good blows before he was certain to be taken down by the group.
Deanna tried to hold her feeling in check but when she sensed Will's own fear and aggression, she jumped from her chair, knocking it down with the back of her legs. "Will's in danger," she informed Picard. "Something's about to happen to him!"
Without question or hesitation, Picard rushed from the room to head back down to the cell blocks but was prevented by two guards, from passing past the door.
Just then, the main door to the building burst open and Data literally flew through handing a PADD to Picard. Walking up to the nearest officer, Picard handed the information over and said quite convincingly, "If anything happens to this innocent man down there, you have my personal guarantee that this planet will never have Federation assistance...ever!"
Simply outnumbered and overpowered, Will however, did make good on his threat by knocking out the first three men before he was pushed into the nearest cell and surrounded by the remaining four inmates.
As one man pulled the cot from the wall, another reached around Riker to bend him over but was head butted in the face for his effort. Kicking the cot back against the other three men, Will lunged for the door in hopes of making it out where he had more room to work. He would have made it, except the bulky shirt he wore caught on the locking mechanism and flung him back like a rubberband. Ripping the shirt free took more time than he thought and he was pummeled in the head by a large fist, causing his vision to blur for the next few seconds.
"RIKER!" he heard his name called from somewhere outside the cell. "RIKER!"
Whirling around to see past one of his attackers, he spotted Picard once again on the other side of bars standing with two very official looking officers. Four blasts of a stun gun later, the inmates layed sprawled about the cell.
"Good timing," Will said and stepped over one of the bodies.
"As always, Number One. Having a little playtime?" Picard mused as he look at the three men laying in the middle of the floor, and then the other four in the cell. "Worf would be proud."
"He can have it! Believe me, I've had my fill of this place." Will watched the titanium bars slide open for him to exit. With a hopeful glint in his eye, he looked to his captain for an explanation.
"Yes, Commander, Mr. Data and Doctor Crusher found extinsive evidence that was missed during the first autopsy that proves your innocence."
"Thank God," Will breathed. In an instant of panic, Will looked back from where he had just came from and saw no signs of the guard who had threatened him earlier. "Where's Deanna?" He asked quickly.
"Back in the interrogation room." Picard barely had the words out of his mouth before Will was racing up the stairs, taking three steps at a time. Picard quickly followed.
Bounding past the last of the doors before the main lobby area, Will came to a skidding halt as he noticed a guard laying flat on his back just inside the room, with Deanna standing over him. It didn't take long for him to notice that it was indeed, the same guard who tried to blackmail him, and who now had a gigantic bruise along side his cheek.
Reaching over the unconscious body, Will guided Deanna into his awaiting arms and gave her a generous embrace. "You okay?" he asked quietly.
The petite woman looked up and with a simply shrug, answered, "Why shouldn't I be?"
Feeling a tap on his shoulder, Will turned to see a smirking Beverly Crusher. "I'm not sure I'd piss her off, Commander." She winked at Deanna. "I think she's starting to enjoy being the agrressive type."
"I'll keep that in mind," he smiled and hugged her one last time just for the sake of feeling her close to his body.
"Lt. Daniels is already back aboard the shuttle and is prepared to beam us back," Picard said. "But according to their laws, of which we are unfortunately ordered to have to obey, we must leave from one of the transporter sites."
"Let's get going then before something else happens," Will said, and was the first one out the door.
Data led the way through the mass of people to the transporter area, allowing a short time for Picard to hear the complete, uninterrupted story of all that had gone on over the past week. "Sounds like the Cardassians and the Dominion are looking for all that narcotic they can get," he summarized.
"As long as the Jem Ha'dar are being produced, there's no doubt that they will seek out any and all who can deliver it to them...no matter how small the operation," Will said.
"And here I thought our generation was beyond the gaining of wealth," Deanna sighed. "Will the Federation be able to stop the trafficking?"
"Doubtful," Picard answered honestly. "They can not guard those planets who do not wish to be a part of the protectorate."
Walking into the transport area, the line of people waiting to be beamed to their respective places was unbelievably long. Will groaned.
"I have to find the little boys room," he whispered to Deanna and walked away.
Watching him using in height advantage to scan over the heads of most of the
people, she felt a sudden sensation of relief and knew he spotted the
restroom. Giggling silently, she continued to gaze about the large building.
One of many transport areas, this one appeared to be used strictly for ship to plantet transportation. People of all races carrying their various belongings materialzed just as quickly as they disappeared .
The closer they got to their turn to beam off, Deanna became more anxious as Will had not returned. "Data," she placed her hand on the androids forearm, "would you mind checking on Will? I'd hate to see us miss our turn."
Data had taken about two steps toward the restroom when they noticed a crowd was forming in that general area. Deanna felt a nauseous wave of dread eak its way up her body, and before she even saw Will's body tossed from the doorway, she already knew what was happeneing.
Ghrafton and Isaac, still wearing their official police uniforms, followed Will's stumbling body until they had him backed up against a wall. "This is NOT your concern!" Ghrafton yelled to the crowd as he removed a painstick from his belt.
Isaac tripped Will with a kick to his ankle, giving Ghrafton enough time to get behind the burly first officer and take hold of his arms.
Drawing a deep, amused breath, Riker flashed his trademark cocky grin just as Isaac lunged forward with a jab to his stomach. Hardly afflicted by the blow, Will shook his head, "I told you, you hit like a girl."
He saw the anger and frustration building up in the young man as he stood nose to nose with him. "You gonna take me down with another cheap shot, Isaac?" Will taunted. "Or are you gonna hit me like a man?"
Isaac reared back and the moment before his fist collided with Will's face, Will ducked to the side so that the punch landed into Ghrafton's nose. Writhing in pain, Ghrafton let go of his prisoner to hold his broken and bloodied nose.
Deanna and the others finally broke through the crowd of on-lookers and watched as something flashed across Riker's face that made her reach out and firmly take hold of Picard's and Data's arm, preventing them from aiding the commander. "No. Not yet," she said softly, pulling them back toward her.
"I'm fairly certain, Isaac..your superiors are looking for you by now. Just give it up." Will pleaded.
"I'm haven't been caught yet," he snarled and tried to leg whip Riker, catching him lightly at the knee.
Riker moved swiftly and grabbed the man's arm and bent it against his back, forcing him to the ground. Using an old wrestling move, Isaac reached behind with his free hand and held Will's inner thigh in a vise-like grip. The pain from his leg caused Will to release the arm but not before he delivered a crushing elbow to Isaac's head, knocking him out cold.
Will backed away from the body and hid in the crowd as soon as the police arrived. In hopes of getting off the planet before he was arrested again, he gestured for the others to head for the transporters quickly.
Deanna reached for his hand the moment he caught up to them. "Not bad...for an old guy," she teased.
Beverly gripped his other hand. "Thats the last time you go to the bathroom by yourself!"
Will gave her a tired chuckle and stepped onto the transporter platform. Glancing quickly to Picard, he gave him a confident nod. "Ready when you are, sir."
Picard gave the coordinates to a worker and stepped next to Riker. "Let's go home, Number One."
Riker smiled. "I'm right behind you," he said as he felt the familiar tingling of the transporter surrounding his body.
Dipping her toes into the sand at the edge of her beach blanket, Deanna Troi
squinted into the hot Risan sun and readjusted the sunglasses from her head
back down to her eyes.
Better to ogle you with, my dear.
The focus of her attention walked along the waters edge and glanced back her
way almost as if he knew she was fantasizing about him.
And of course...he did know, without a doubt.
He smiled seductively before retreating into the cool depths of the ocean as numerous woman turned to see just who this man smiled at.
Sensations of jealousy that would have otherwise unnerved the empath caused her to relax back onto her elbows with a rather smug grin. Arrogance wasn't all that bad, she decided. Especially when she knew she would be the one he would leave with after the sun goes down. She would be the one whose body would succomb to his ministrations, feel his hands roam every inch of her, feel his mouth giving attention to that certain place. Be the one to have his delectable body lay next to her...within her.
Deanna Troi had a fantasy. A fantasy that was being played out at this very moment as Will Riker emerged from the water and into her living, breathing dreamworld.
She watched the more bold women position themselves in front of him
as he walked. The others only smiled as he passed. Her grin grew wide
as he neared his own blanket a short distance away and sat down only to be
accosted by three females flashing their buxom breasts into his masculine face.
It was time.
Deanna Troi rose from her seat and made her away across the blistering sand
to the water where she waited a moment more. She knew immediately when he saw
her because she heard a seductive voice within her head...
~Come and get me, Imzadi...~ the baritone voice taunted.
~You are mine~ she sent back, inviting no other argument.
The game was afoot. He was the seductee and she the seductress. A complete opposite from the norm, just the way she wanted it.
With her feet suffciently cooled, she stared as the three women were becoming more aggressive and were now whispering in his ear, rubbing his back, and massaging his hands.
~More quickly...please~ he called and she laughed.
Now standing at the edge of his blanket, he looked up and smiled at her. The three women pretended to ignore the fact that his attention was clearly focused on the newcomer by making their actions more deliberate and belligerent. One woman quickly moved to his lap while another grabbed his chin and pulled his face toward her as she began to kiss him. The other, who was too late and was out of room, simply stared with resentment at Deanna before she stormed away in anger.
Deanna tapped the kissing woman's shoulder then crossed her arms in mock rebuke. The woman humphed and before she could return to her action, Deanna held Will's chin within her own hand and wiped away the bright red lipstick. Gently pulling him up as her hand cupped his face, Will allowed the other woman to fall off his lap onto her rear.
~Oooo. That was harsh~ Will laughed and looked in suprise at the woman, who in her own way, was vying for his body at the moment.
"She doesn't deserve you," Deanna said aloud, perfectly intent on letting the woman hear her. "She has nothing, that I can not offer." Deanna ran her hands up through the hair on his chest and to his shoulders. Lacing her fingers behind his neck, she gently pulled him down so that his mouth met hers.
In one passionate, highly erotic moment, Deanna pressed her body into his as their kiss deepened to a point of no return. Waves of ecstacy crashed from one body to the other before she pulled back with a look of pure satisfaction plastered across her beautiful face.
"I'm not sure I can take much more, Dea," Will's voice quivered with eagerness.
Deanna let her head fall forward into his chest as she giggled. "I know, me neither."
Will moved his fingers lightly around her waist and over the base of her spine and she leaned back into the sensation, enjoying his touch. With her neck completely exposed to him, he acted like a ravenous dog and attacked her body as if it were a piece of meat.
"Will?" Deanna pulled back.
Obviously pained, Will slowly opened his eyes only to see her standing foot away with her arms crossed.
"This is my show...okay. You said you'd behave!"
He shook his head and bit his bottom lip. "You're killing me, you know that?"
"Which is all part of this fantasy," she explained. "All part of the fun."
"This is torture. And you're loving every moment."
She took a step forward. "Call it what you want....but I'm having the time of my life." Dragging her nails around his waist and up the midline of his torso, she watched him close his eyes again as his stomach muscles fluttered.
"Computer, end Risa program. Begin Troi program alpha theta two."
The hot beach atmosphere changed into their hotel room at the Risan resort. Plush pillows covered the floor of the main room, candles accenting a pathway from there to the bedroom, Deanna sensed Will's pleasure. "Better?"
"Not yet," he pouted.
"Come here, you big baby." she reached for his hand and led him to the pillowed floor. "I'm sensing restlessness and anxiety. Would you care to talk about it?" she teased.
He groaned as she straddled his waist. "I'm done talking."
"Good. No more complaining, Imzadi."
Velvet lips trailed a path down his stomach as caring hands pulled away his swim trunks from his hips. Stroking his erection with a mouth intent on driving him insane, her hands carved intricate circles on his thighs.
Wills head rolled back onto the seat of the couch as he was rendered completely helpless. His arms could have been chopped off and he would never have known because at this precise moment, all he could feel was her glorious mouth, her sensual touch, her beautiful spirit inviting him into heaven along with her.
Drawing a deep breath, he couldn't mistake the smell of her arousal as she turned to face his feet. Not wanting this to end this way, he was able to conjure up the stamina and self-control he needed to continue on in this foreplay, and turned her around.
The blue of his eyes smoldered with unbridled passion, compelling Deanna to move along at a pace she knew would please them both. Trying to offer his body as an open sacrifice to her ravenous mind, he still allowed her to lead.
Deanna's whole body was alive and tingling, panting with so much desire, she found it difficult to control even herself. Especially when she rested back onto his waist and felt him throbbing against her thighs. Slipping down slightly, preparing herself to take him in wholly, an annoying hum sounded from somewhere below the sea of pillows.
Unable to ignore it as the curious sound grew in intensity, Deanna felt something against her foot. Her quick turn to look elicited a yelp from Will, who then moaned when she removed ehrself from his lap.
"Oh GOD!" Deanna screamed. "WILL!"
Sitting forward to see what he was being blamed for, his eyes grew wide at the vibrating object that was no longer buried by the pillows. "Dea...I swear I did not-"
"Well I sure as hell didn't order it!"
Will picked up the elongated vibrating penis and turned it off. Holding it up by two fingers, he grinned. "You sure, you didn't-"
"YES. I'M SURE!"
As the two lovers simultaneously came to the same conclusion as to who added this not-so little element to Deanna's holodeck scenario, their faces contorted into a wicked and mischievous look. "Beverly," they agreed and Will flung the item to the floor.
"I think she deserves this little present delivered back to her, in Ten-Forward, as all of her friends watch. Don't you think?" Deanna's face was as malevolent as Will had ever seen.
"Absolutely," Will laughed. And then, in a little more childish tone, he added, "But can it wait until later?"
Deanna bored Will back down into the pillows. "Absolutely."