Mardi Gras

It's pure fun-fluff and is set in New Orleans.

Wordy Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters and the other
trademarked things of Star Trek. The city is real and so are most of
the landmarks. I make no monetary profit and none is intended.

Mardi Gras. Chapter 1

Follows Lessons Learned, also by Jayna


"Attention, Crew. In two standard days, We will be stationed at Earth
for one week to effect repairs and take care of other administrative
matters. I invite you to take shore leave at this time and thank you
for your hard work these past few months."

Riker heard the Captain’s announcement and grinned. This would be a
perfect opportunity to take a small vacation an unofficial honeymoon
with his Imzadi. Their formal wedding would not be for another month
but they were “legal” thanks to a small ceremony performed by Captain
Picard. Will noticed that they would be arriving on February 20: in
time for the Tuesday before the Christian remembrance of Ash Wednesday.
This would be a trip to remember.

The new Deanna Riker breathed a sigh of relief when the Captain made
the announcement. She had so much to do – she could use a few days off.
Her mother was taking care of most of the wedding plans, but she just
wanted some time to work on the dreaded thank-you notes, arrange her
new quarters, and just do nothing for a while. She was happy but
tired. Getting married is hard work, she mumbled to herself.

She knew her plans would change when she felt Will’s excitement over
the link. “He’s up to something. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be Will
Riker, she admitted to herself. Caught up in his enthusiasm, she
resolved to let herself wait and see what treats he had in store. “He
can help me with the thank you messages, then," she thought to herself

Will looked officially busy as he worked diligently at the terminal.
He was checking dates, making reservations, calling a friend, and
cashing in a favor or two. He worked hard to suppress a smile that
would have invited curiosity from his friends. He also tried to manage
his desire to tell his Imzadi everything. He wanted to surprise her –
a good surprise, and provide her with an experience beyond her
imagination and one she would treasure forever.

Will Riker looked down at his hand and again marveled at the simple
gold band on his left hand. He loved being married and wondered what
the hell took him so long. He loved the freedom that the ring he wore
provided. It was the freedom of knowing his heart was unleashed. He
no longer had to hide to hide his love for his Imzadi, and no longer
cared about his reputation as “Randy Riker”. He had heard a 20th
century joke that the wedding ring cut off the flirting genes, but he
flirted more than ever – with a certain dark-eyed beauty. Will stroked
his beard thoughtfully and reviewed the plans for the trip. (The beard
returned soon after the Briar Patch, thought the personal shaves

When he returned to the Bridge, Captain Picard looked thoughtful and
spoke to Will: “Please join me in my ready room, Number One.”

“Yes, Captain.”

The Captain invited him to sit and a small smile escaped from him. “It
appears your latest diplomatic and combat efforts have attracted some
attention. Star Fleet was very impressed with your communication of
the Baku incident to them and word has spread of the “Riker Maneuver.”
It is my advice that you prepare for another offer of a captaincy, and
that you strongly consider taking it. Will, it has been a pleasure and
an honor to have you as a First Officer, but I can no longer let myself
benefit from your service when you should be on your own vessel. You
have and can do this job well, and it is damn time you went out there
and did it.”

“When do you expect it to happen, Captain? “

“Let’s just say I suspect getting you to accept a promotion is one of
the administrative matters we have to attend to. Go ahead and enjoy
your shore leave – just leave next Friday open for business. And Will-
it would not be good form to turn down a captaincy again.

“Yes, Sir” Will responded. The notion of leaving the Enterprise, while
bittersweet, would not be a problem now. He would be taking the best
of his life here with him.

Since their conversation was towards the end of the alpha shift, it was
not long before Will was able to recount the conversation he and the
captain just had to Deanna.

“Do we know a time frame?” Asked Deanna.

“Not yet,” Will replied. “However, in checking my assignments today, I
noticed I am expected to be on Betazed next month for a diplomatic
assignment with my worthy wife and Star Fleet Counselor Extraordinare.”
“My compliments to your mother on creative string-pulling,” Will
grinned. He knew the diplomatic event was their formal wedding on

Deanna threw a pillow at Will. “I think that is very helpful in
planning our future. We know where we will be for a little while.”

“Seriously, my love, are you OK with the idea of leaving?”

“I will be sad to leave friends but I know I will be busy. If Star
Fleet does not assign me to be your ship’s counselor, I can still serve
in a command capacity and work on my dissertation.” “I may even open a
private practice as a therapist,” she joked.

“Oh no, not the nude therapy!”

“Why not – I can be a founder of a new paradigm of starship-based
therapy,” Deanna joked.

At that Will started tickling her, as she deserved. Before he let
their wrestling session turn into something more sensuous, he returned
to the topic of their plans. “So, our mysterious meeting is next
Friday. That leaves Sunday-Thursday for own time. Will you trust me on
what we will do? As much as it is possible, I want to surprise you,

“I could tell you were excited about something, but you started your
mental shielding so I would not learn specifics. I’ll be delighted to
experience this mystery adventure. Just as long as I can take one day
to meditate."

“You mean sleep, you wench!”

“OK, mediate in a sleeping state and perfect the art of laziness.”

~Not too lazy, I hope,~ sent Will- with a look in her eyes that made
her breath catch in her throat.

~I plan to be in bed. Maybe you will join me~ she sent back, as she
reached to gently caress the back of his neck.

“Mmmmmm” was Will’s response as he reached to kiss his Imzadi, with a
tender touch that made her melt. Deanna luxuriated in the feel of the
kiss, and sent her hands to caress his hard stomach underneath his
uniform. Will cradled her face in his hands, to give another tender
kiss, then slipped his hands under her uniform and around her tiny
waist. After that, thoughts of laziness were forgotten.

Deanna got her day of rest, as her husband promised. They would take
Saturday to rest and finish up paper work before shore leave. Then,
Sunday morning, their Adventure would begin. Will worked very hard not
to project details of his plans. He and Deanna had grown closer than
ever so not sharing the plans was a strain. He longed to discuss the
details with his Imzadi but reminded himself that this would be good
exercise for command when he had concerns he could not share with her.
Besides, he told himself, she knows confidential patient information
she can’t share with me. He let an evil gleam spark in his eyes,
remembering one his conversations with Deanna
~What big secrets, you have, Commander Riker~
~The better to tease you with, My Dear~ replied Will. Deanna started
reading old earth fairy tales and loved to repeat some of the better
lines. She loved the archetypal images in them.


Begin Chapter 2: SUNDAY

Not soon enough, Sunday morning arrived. Will told Deanna to take
comfortable shoes, touring clothes, a journal or Padd, and sexy
underthings. The rest could be shopped for, for where they were going
had some very interesting shops.

Geordi himself manned the transporter controls. He helped Will with
some of the arrangements and wanted to share in the fun. He made
Deanna promise to tell him what she could about their vacation when
they returned, driving her curiosity closer to the brink of insanity.
Energize, said a smug Will Riker. He let go of his wife’s hand for
just a moment, and they appeared…

Amidst feathers and sequins and colors and laugher and odors, good and
bad. Deanna felt emotions of gaiety, lust, and celebration from the
revelers. She placed a gentle barrier to cloud her empathetic
perceptions then allowed her eyes and other senses to observe her
surroundings. She was on an ancient cobblestone street a with a sign
marking it as “Saint Peter St.”

~Will, where are we?~

~Old New Orleans, and the celebration all around us is Mardi Gras.
This is the week leading up to the Christian holy day of Ash Wednesday.
This event is also known as Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. In New
Orleans, Mardi Gras is celebrated for days before the day itself, Mardi
Gras, or Fat Tuesday. The next day, Ash Wednesday, begins a 40-day
period of reflection and penance before the Christian holy day of
Easter. We are here to celebrate the party before the time of
self-control and denial. ~

~New Orleans, for a long time, had been one of the more metropolitan
cities of the Deep South of the United States. It was a melting pot of
cultures, and the ports brought in liquors, people, and an
open-mindedness not often found in the old South. It is a hot, humid
area, which may contribute to the party-going atmosphere found here at
any time on the year. At Mardi Gras natives and people from all over
come to enjoy the pageantry, parades, and relax their inhibitions.~

At Deanna’s delighted yet questioning look, Will continued ~I thought
you might enjoy this. You usually control your emotions under control
and monitor the well being of those around you. You maintain a
wonderful balance, but I wanted to experience a time and place for
enjoying the wilder aspects of yourself and others. Also~, he
continued, ~the food here is fantastic. One word of warning, though,
love…there is an abundance of real liquor, so be careful. The hang
overs are real, too.~

Deanna beamed at her Imzadi. He was so thoughtful, and the timing was
perfect. They both would have new responsibilities in a few days, so
they both needed a time to me more anonymously wicked together. ~
Where do we start, Imzadi?~

~First, we check into a hotel. I admit I spared no expense. All those
years of living on a star ship made it hard to spend my credits. New
Orleans, as an interplanetary port, still uses money to determine some

Deanna grinned to herself. Will had either forgotten about her
family’s fortune, or was determined to live without it.~ Well, I’ve
been saving too, so let me help you to make this a memorable trip. I
want to provide a few surprises, too. ~

Will agreed, knowing they could be extravagant together. This was,
after all, their first, if unofficial honeymoon. They walked through
the French Quarter and checked into the Hotel Maison de Ville. Deanna
was enchanted with the cozy room, fluffy robes, and balcony view of the
street down below. ~Will, how did you ever manage to get this on such
a short notice?~ Will smiled and said, ~I had a connection that found
us the best available room in the quarter. Some of the best tourism
VIP’s are former Star Fleet explorers – seems the experience of
exploring strange new worlds comes in handy in New Orleans. ~

Deanna tossed her bag in a corner and stretched out on the huge bed in
the center of the room. While starship beds were comfortable, they
were not large and luxurious. She was enjoying the surprise already,
but she could tell that Will had more surprises planned. ~Well,
Commander Travel Coordinator, what is on our agenda today?~

He sent back ~ First, Counselor Tourist, we will get a bite to each for
lunch and then do some exploring. I hope you have those walking shoes
I recommended. It’s a lovely day.~

~Forgive the expression, but what do I wear?~

~In our room, as little as possible~ Will sent, while smiling
suggestively. ~However, for our excursion, something comfortable—for
walking, dancing, dining, you name it.~ Will kissed Deanna on the nose
and then opened his bag (packing together was one aspect of married
life he was not yet used to) and pulled out a pair of hiking boots,
blue long-sleeved shirt, and well-worn jeans. Some of his favorite
clothes he refused to subject to the replicator, instead using
old-fashioned soap and water to clean them. He called it breaking the
clothes in. Admiring how they nicely fit his lean body, Deanna had to
agree it was a worthwhile effort.

~Nice Butt~ She sent

~Thanks – My wife likes it, too~replied Will.

Hmmm – casual yet appealing. What do I have that fits that
description? Deanna wondered to herself. ~Will – I didn’t bring many
clothes- you told me we’d go shopping. Luckily I have one outfit that
can get me through the day. After that, prepare to shop~ Deanna smiled
as she sent to him. She opened her traveling bag and pulled out black
slim walking boots, tights, and an off-the -shoulder yet loose fitting
burgundy top. She went into the bathroom to change and stopped, her
mouth falling open.

“Will!” She was so surprised she sent and cried out at the same time.
In front of her was the master of all bathrooms – a huge tub with
whirlpool jets, a large shower with benches, and candles waiting to be
lit. The room was covered in flowers including some blooms from the
Jalaraan jungle. Deanna’s eyes moistened at the love and preparation
used to prepare this room for their use. ~Thank you, beloved.~

~My pleasure, Imzadi~ Will walked up beside her and took her small hand
in his own and gave it a squeeze. ~This will be waiting for us when we
return – I promise.~
Will gave her hand another squeeze and playfully goosed her. ~Now
change – I’m hungry – for seafood, New Orleans style.~

~Yes, Dear~ Deanna replied in the age old way spouses made fun of each

In a few minutes Deanna was ready. She put her hair back into a loose
ponytail with tendrils falling around her face. She and Will took
their comm badges with them on the theory that if they had them, they
would not need them. Will smiled in appreciation at Deanna’s outfit –
Deanna could look like the proper aristocrat, exemplary officer, or
now, carefree beauty. Each time her saw her he thought she could never
be more beautiful – she never ceased to surprise him.

As the left their magical room, Deanna and Will clasped hands. They
had the giddiness of the newlyweds they were even though they had known
each other for years. Will lead them to Felix’ Oyster Bar, a place
known for cold drinks and poor-boys, or "po-boys”. “Poor boys?” Deanna
asked. When in public they tried to speak orally to maintain practice
for shipboard manners.

“These are sandwiches made on French bread with seafood or some other
meat, lettuce, mayonnaise, tomatoes, and sometimes cheese. These are
real – not replicated. ~ Will proudly answered. He enjoyed showing
his Imzadi one of his favorite cities with his favorite places.

“Oh, sounds fattening” Deanna exclaimed!

“I promise we will walk it off. If not, I’ll be your gym date when we
return.” Will replied.

“Deal! We have to get publicly naked in a month! So what are you

“I always go with the fried shrimp. I think you’d like it. You seemed
to like the replicated shrimp on the ship.”

“OK – I’ll try one, too. But Will, why aren’t you having the oyster?”
She asked, winking at her new husband.

Will knew Deanna was referring to the legendary aphrodisiac affects of
oysters. This reply would be private ~ Because, my dear, I don’t need
any help getting aroused by you.~

~Good answer~, Deanna laughed, and sent him a picture of how she
planned to reward him later, in private. The bathtub was part of her

Will ordered their po-boys and a beverage known as beer. It was cold,
sharp, and something Deanna did not like. Will expected that and
assured her it was an acquired taste but wanted her to try it. “What
would you like, Deanna?~

“You know my Answer – something sweet. I’ll save the chocolate for
later.” Will ordered an old-fashioned cola for her. It was cold,
sweet, and she thought, addicting.

“For some reason, in New Orleans, only coffee is good hot. The place
invites us to drink good, cold drinks,” Will theorized. Deanna nodded
in agreement. She was too busy savoring her sandwich.

After their lunch Deanna and Will walked through the French Quarter.
They found shops of all kinds – souvenirs, novelties, antiques, and
clothing. They found places with music of all kinds, and as always,
the loud, colorful revelers in the streets. A “gentleman” wearing a
loincloth with his face made up in rainbow colors started to approach
Deanna, but Will was quick to tuck her arm in his, turn her around, and
give her a long, sweet kiss. Deanna was surprised and delighted at the
public display of affection.

“Did I mention that almost anything goes during Mardi Gras? I thought
the kiss would be a nice way to help that man leering at you avoid
trouble” Will answered her questioning eyes.

“Oh, just taking care of the away team and avoiding trouble with the
locals, Commander?” Deanna teased.

“Yes, and it is a strategy that seems to work. I must try it again
soon” Will replied, grinning.

The Rikers continued their walk through the French Quarter. They
walked down Bourbon, Royal, and Decatur Streets, and walked through
Jackson Square. Deanna and Will laughed with the merry-makers and were
awed by the beauty of St. Louis Cathedral. At one point a group of
street musicians pulled Deanna into an impromptu dance with them.
Deanna loved the joie de vivre felt in this city. They both knew this
was their day to walk through the inner part of this great city. Time
for more browsing would come in the days ahead. However, Deanna could
not resist a little shopping. Taking Will seriously, she really didn’t
bring that many clothes. She found a little boutique that looked just
perfect. She asked Will if he wouldn’t mind keeping himself occupied
while she got a few things. He ambled down the street to one of many
bars and she set out to do a little damage.

Sunday evening was a treat for both of them. Will was able to indulge
in a rare treat - enjoying a concert of the Dixieland Preservation
Hall Jazz band. Deanna and Will sat close together on the bare floor
since seating was minimal. Will’s eyes were glowing with joy as a
shared his love for music with his Imzadi. Deanna felt tears come to
her own eyes as she felt Will’s happiness through their link. Her
heart warmed at the pure magic of this moment and she felt Will’s soul
reveling in the juxtaposition of the love of his life with one his
sustaining pleasures. Deanna memorized this moment in her mind. The
music was loud and cheerful, and Deanna at that moment understood its
appeal for Will. Will’s skin was glowing from the heat of the room,
his infinite blue eyes were shining, and one hand was tapping a knee
while the other arm was in her lap, clasping her hand. His hair was
delightfully spiky, and his face was alight with a beaming, wide grin.
Deanna found her Imzadi quite irresistible at that moment, and leaned
over to give him a short but intimate kiss. Will smiled with delight
and surprise. His own Deanna was letting the magic of the city infuse
her soul. He could tell she, too was savoring their time and he
thought he made a Dixieland jazz fan of her.

Their Sunday evening ended with a perfect dinner at Brennan’s, a
renowned French Quarter favorite. Deanna’s Betazed senses were
overwhelmed with the rich flavor. They had a seven-course meal that
included wine, crawfish bisque, Cajun ratatouille, pan-sautéed trout in
crabmeat garlic beurre blanc. Even without the wine, Deanna would have
become intoxicated on the food alone. Remembering she had not yet
received her fix, Will took the liberty of ordering a chocolate crème
brulee as dessert for his deserving Imzadi.

At the end of the perfect meal, Mr. And Mrs. Riker walked contentedly
back to their hotel room. Deanna was tired and had a bubble bath for
two in mind in the flower-scented bathroom. She drew the bath and lit
candles, while Will prepared some cold sparkling water. When the water
was ready, Deanna, now undressed, leaned against the doorway with the
dim lights of the bathroom giving her a soft glow. ~Your bath is ready,

Her tone and the sight of her stirred more than his soul. Deanna
approached him and unbuttoned his shirt, helping him undress. ~ I
promised you a little reward this morning, Imzadi – come and get it!~
Will started to help in his undressing, and Deanna stopped him ~ no,
Imzadi. You are always spoiling me. Let me now take care of you. ~
Will breathed a sigh and smiled his agreement. He was tired. It had
been a glorious but long day.

Will was more tired than he thought. While he was thinking, Deanna
deftly finished unbuttoning his shirt and loosened his pants. Will
gasped as he felt the cool air around his legs and torso. Deanna
tickled his legs as she helped him out of his shoes and socks. When he
was completely undressed, Deanna gently led him to the bath.

Deanna made Will lean back against one of the bath pillows as he gave
him some cool mineral water. She first gracefully soaped up her own
body, then started on Will. She poured some water to wet his hair, and
then lathered it using almond-smelling shampoo. She used her long
nails to scratch his head as she lathered, coaxing a sigh of
contentment from Will. Before she rinsed his hair, she could not
resist styling his hair in spikes and waves. Will laughed as he saw
his reflection in the mirrored wall. She rinsed his hair using cups of
warm, clear water. Next, she choose a shaving mug full of rich lather
and a straight edge shaver to trip Will’s beard. ~Imzadi, you are
spoiling me too much. I may never want to bathe alone again.~

~Will – how did you ever figure out my plan? ~ Deanna was enjoying
herself. She was in a lovely hot bath in a royal bathroom accented by
candles and fresh flowers and was in no rush with her Imzadi. There
were no comm interruptions or ship matters to attend to. Moments like
this made her wish for a “normal” life with a home away from work.
But, she reminded herself, had she lived a normal life, she would still
be on Betazed far away from her Imzadi. Deanna finished trimming
Will’s beard, then lathered up the softly scented soap and rubbed it on
his back, his arms, his chest, his legs, and then more intimate parts.
Will sensed mischievous intentions as she rinsed his back, and his
thoughts turned to more intimate activities than bathing.

Deanna had already formed her plans. She did not finish rinsing Will
but moved to sit on his lap. ~Sit back, Will. I’m not finished with
your bath.~ Will’s breathing quickened as her intentions became clear.
His arousal increased as Deanna rubbed his chest, shoulders, and
muscled stomach. As her hands wandered lower Deanna bent down to kiss
Will’s forehead, eyes, cheeks, and then, at long last, his lips. The
delay was sweet torture to will. Each time he tried to touch her she
reminded him to sit back. Finally, when she was ready (he was already
past the point of ready), she joined with him and found for them both
the sweet, aching release craved by them both.

Now that his soapy body had served his purpose, Deanna finished rinsing
off her Imzadi. She then led him out of the bath, as he gently toweled
him off in the afterglow of their love. She then lead him to bed where
Will wrapped her in his arms.

~Imzadi, you are beautiful and kind and I cherish you. I thank the God
of my ancestors for bringing you to me again. Without you I am not
complete, and with you I am more than whole. I love you, Deanna. More
than I can say and you can imagine. When we are old and gray you will
still be my beautiful Deanna, Imzadi. Thank you, Imzadi, for loving me
and sharing your soul with me. ~

Deanna just snuggled into his arms and cherished every word Will sent
to her. She felt the love that he had for her through their bond. It
was a love so strong she was sure she could tangibly feel it-- even
without their soul-linking telepathic bond. She smiled at the allusion
to their past trials. ~I know, Imzadi and I cherish every moment with
you. Your words will be engraved upon my heart forever, my dearest
love. Thank you for sharing so much with me. I, too, will always love
you. ~ With that tender exchange, they kissed gently and sweetly and
drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms.


Chapter Three A

Deanna woke in a tangle of covers a bit confused. The
size and luxury of the bed was disorienting to her at
first, but she smiled when she regained her sense of

~Good morning, Sleepyhead.~ Will beamed. He was
whistling a song she thought was “When the Saints go
marching in.” ~ I was just about to wake you up. We
have another big day~ Will sent.

~So, Commander Travel Guide, what is the agenda

~Today, we shop, drink, eat, and make merry.~ Will
smiled as he sent. ~Get dressed. We are having
breakfast at the Café du Monde. You are about to meet
beignets. This place also has great hot chocolate, I
have heard.~

With the promise of chocolate, Deanna bounded out of
bed. ~Gotta do my hair. I was distracted last
night.~ She playfully swatted Will on the rear as she
said this. This morning she would use the sonic
shower to do her hair quickly.

A few minutes later she appeared from the bathroom,
hair dry and in ringlets and in a fluffy bathrobe.
Will was already dressed in black slacks, white long
sleeved shirt and a black vest. He looked dashing.
Deanna had a surprise of her own and needed a little
privacy. ~I need a favor, Will.~ She tried to look
as serious as possible.

~Anything, Love. What is wrong? What can I do?~
Deanna had successfully confused him by blocking her

~Will, I need….you to go downstairs while I get
dressed.~ Will breathed a sigh of relief and grinned.
~I need a little privacy this morning. Why don’t you
go to the lobby and get some coffee? I’ll meet you
downstairs in 20 minutes.~ William Riker nodded his
agreement with the same grin. He gathered his comm
badge and put some papers and his currency card in the
secure pockets of his vest. After running a brush
through his unruly, spiky hair, he kissed Deanna on
the cheek and left the room.

“Now, time to make some trouble.” Deanna thought to
herself and set her surprise in motion.

True to her promise, could sense Deanna as she
prepared to emerge from the lift 20 minutes later.
When he saw her actually descend, he lost all rational
thought. Deanna’s hair was in ringlets all around
her, and she wore a form-fitting black leather body
suit. The body suit had a gold belt around its waist
and a gold zipper from the middle of her cleavage to
the top of the belt line. The outfit had a sweetheart
neckline that revealed her shoulders and the top of
her creamy, perfect cleavage. The outfit also had
gold zippers from the bottom of her fitted long
sleeves to each elbow.

Will was not the only one staring at this goddess.
Deanna’s eyes were rimmed in kohl and her lips were
painted a rich, deep red. Her lips revealed perfect
teeth as they curled in a sly smile. ~Do you like it,
Imzadi?~ She asked coyly as she approached him.

“Like is not the word” Will murmured to his wife as
she walked to him and gave him a quick kiss. “I can
see why you made me wait downstairs. We would never
leave if we were still in the room” he whispered. He
kissed her back, this time with a long, teasing yet
passionate kiss that left both of them breathless.
~I’m speechless, Deanna. ~

Deanna Riker stepped back to model her new outfit.
“This is a little something I picked up yesterday.
It’s really quite comfortable. It’s a mesh repli
leather that breathes and feels sooo soft.” Deanna
looked at her husband’s face as she cooed the last
part. As she said it, she sent a mental impression of
the feeling to her husband. She felt Will’s aching
desire and sat him down in the plush chair in the
lobby, plopping her herself on his lap. Not wanting
to cause him too much discomfort, she probed his mind
and shared a delicious arousal-delaying technique she
had been studying. It gave the Imzadi a new burst of
energy. The secret was that it worked only for a
linked couple feeling mutual desire for each other.
The effect was to give an impression of refreshment
while delaying the passions until a more convenient
time. There was a wonderful price, however, - the
passions came back with interest.

“Now, what about breakfast, Will? I’m starving, and
you did promise chocolate!”

“As you wish,” Will’s melodious bass voice said
carressingly, as he offered her him arm.

After a wonderful repast of café au lait for Will, hot
chocolate for Deanna, and beignets, the Imzadi couple
prepared for their Monday in New Orleans. Deanna
loved the beignets, the fried light round pastries
doused with powdered sugar. More than one bystander
wanted to offer services to dust off the powdered
sugar from Deanna’s skin and outfit, but only her
husband had that opportunity. The pair sat hand in
hand at the small table, having a pleasant
conversation and watching the life forms about them.
Just in one day, the city had become more crowded.

“The city will be absolutely packed tomorrow, for the
Fat Tuesday frenzy. Luckily, we are in no rush to
experience everything. Tell me, Dee, how are your
empathetic senses adjusting to the mad passions

“I’m fine, Will and I'm able to relax the barriers a
little. I’m enjoying letting a little more of this
‘madness in.’ It is so nice to just share the
feelings of fun around me. Still, it is not all
amusement. Some people are trying to mask deep pain
or create new memories to fill their aching souls.
Such an exercise a not always successful avoidance
mechanism. Still, there is something about this city
and this time. The good emotions, the joie de vivre,
are amazingly strong.”

“Maybe it’s the voodoo, Imzadi.”


“In the old days of New Orleans, there was a
‘religion,’ if you will, that was said to incorporate
‘black magic.’ This was voodoo, which originated in
part from Jamaica. It involved good and bad magic,
the ability to cast spells, and fear that the dead
could be controlled and rise. A famous practitioner
of voodoo, Marie Laveaux, is buried in New Orleans.
Voodoo is just one religious practice that has been
followed in New Orleans, which helps to account for
the sense of mysticism around here. There were many
world religions, not all of them in a
Judaeo-Christian-Muslim basis.” Will's explanation
fascinated Deanna. She had expressed her beliefs about
the indecipherability of supernatural beings, but she
still found that her patients of faith could wrestle
with their faiths yet find great comfort in them. She
was also proud of her husband for his depth of
learning about varied subjects.

“Now, back to our plans, Imzadi. We have a little
shopping to do this morning, then lunch at K-Paul’s.
This afternoon we take it easy. Tonight is a
surprise, but you will need a ball-gown" Will

“Remember your promise, Commander, to help me work of
the meals,” Deanna said, smilingly.

“Well, Commander Counselor, I am eating at least as
much as you are,” Will replied, his eyes twinkling.


Chapter 3B

As they left Café Du Mond hand in hand and laughing, more than one pair of eyes
looked at them wistfully. It wasn’t just the woman’s almost illegally
appealing outfit. The man was devastatingly handsome and had a presence of
authority and confidence that was as natural to him as breathing. The woman, in
addition to being achingly beautiful, had an intelligent confidence, air of
compassion, and a ready smile and twinkle of mischief in her dark eyes. They
looked like a god and goddess together, too perfect for words. Little did the
observers know of the years of experience and preparation it took for them to
achieve such happiness.

Will and Deanna went to the River Walk, a set of shops along the Mississippi
River. It had grown since the 20th century, getting more boutiques and
clothing shops in addition to the tourism-oriented shops it originally had. It
also had, Will knew, a fudge shop which would please his Imzadi.

Will guided Deanna to one shop in particular that had been recommended by his
friends. He told Deanna she would need a semi-formal outfit for a special
dinner tomorrow and a ball gown for this evening. Deanna used her empathy to
find a kind, confident salesperson and asked for her help. Will took the sales
person aside and explained his secret plans for their trip. With that done, he
plopped himself into a comfortable chair and let his Imzadi go to work. While
shopping might become a chore in the future, for the moment Will relished it.
He also looked forward to savoring Deanna’s presence as she helped him to
choose his outfits.

Deanna also enjoyed this new experience of shopping as a couple. They had
often shopped together as friends but to do it as a couple created a new
feeling of intimacy. She was impressed by Will’s patience and watched him joke
with other beings who were waiting and shopping. She realized that Will loved
people, but most of all loved women. She was glad this trait had evolved, even
without a mother’s careful influence upon him. Thank the stars he was generous
and kind. Too many men raised by domineering men had turned out like their

Will even surprised her with his interest in shopping for her as he looked at
the racks and asking her to try on a few garments that were not her usual
style. Not surprisingly, Will had good taste and she liked the unexpected
effects of his choices.

She modeled her two favorite dinner dresses. The first was a red, knee length
shift with a slit up to her thigh (Will’s choice). The second, her choice, was
a perfect silk “little black dress” that was off the shoulder, had a slightly
plunging neckline fitted perfectly around her ribs, and gently feel just down
below her knees. What was special about this dress was that the fabric
appeared to be almost translucent, hinting at revealing perfect skin but
properly not showing a thing.

Deanna’s preferred the black dress, which was not only elegant but would allow
her to eat and enjoy her meal. Will seemed to like both of them and Deanna
tried to gauge his reactions through the link. He seemed to find both
appealing but his lusty thoughts were a bit more vivid with the red dress.
“I’ll take both,” Deanna decided. She took a few minutes to find the perfect
shoes, hose, and cosmetic accessories for both dresses. Now on to the ball

Deanna did not know anything about the ball they would be attending, but her
sales friend seemed to know what it was and what would be fitting. Deanna
asked her about one of the dresses that caught her eye, and new friend agreed
it would be perfect. Deanna returned to the dressing room after winking at
Will and prepared to try on one of the most beautiful dresses she could ever
hope for.

The style reminded her of the robes worn by the ancient Greek and Roman gods
from Terran mythology. The floor-length dress was a soft, almost-white
lavender. From the waist down, it seemed to float about her yet hint at her
long, fit legs. At the waist, the fabric separated to go over and drape over
her shoulders. There were no obvious buttons or zippers – just fabric and
gravity appearing to work their magic.

Other than the draping material, her dress was backless down to her waist. The
effect of the draping was the appearance of a royal robe of days gone by. The
dress was actually held in place by illusion stays that fastened in the back.
However, the illusion seemed real enough to make a woman into a goddess.

Deanna loved the dress and modeled it for Will. He seemed to like it since his
jaw dropped ever so slightly as he stood transfixed. Will forgot his manners
as he sent to her ~It’s stunning, Imzadi. It’s perfect.~ He regained his
composure enough to say, “I vote for this one, Dee.”

“As do I. We’ll take it, but I’ll need some…” and Deanna finished by
whispering to her sales friend. She wanted to leave a little of her outfit to
Will’s imagination.

As she changed, Deanna asked the wise salesperson to find her some more
lingerie as well as shoes, outfits, etc. She was glad to make this contact
whose taste she trusted and who seemed to understand the preferences of the
Imzadi couple.

“Now Will, your turn. What are you going to wear tonight and tomorrow? Your
dress uniform is not an option.” Will put an indignant look on his face. He
had no such plans and wanted to enjoy the opportunity to be righteous.

“I was just taking turns, Deanna. I’d never miss the chance to model for you,”
he said teasingly. Why don’t you pick a few things out for me? I’ll look
around, too.”

After a little browsing, it was Will’s turn to play dress-up. For a dinner, he
tried on several outfits, finally deciding on one of Deanna’s choices – an
elegant gray suit, white shirt, and trombone cuff links. The tie was red with
almost impossibly tiny patterns of trombones. He appreciated Deanna’s sense of
humor and personal touch. It would be a nice remembrance of their time in New

For the ball, Deanna picked out a classic tuxedo. Will tried to protest that
he had one, but Deanna laughed him off. “Yours is old and has been with too
many women, dear Husband. You and I deserve for you to have a new one.”
Deanna’s eyes were filled with mirth. She was not actually jealous, but did
have a feeling of protecting her interests.

Will had to agree that Deanna was right. The one he tried on was exceptional,
with the quality of something well made. He tried not to grin too much at the
fun he was having with two women fussing over him. He definitely liked this
aspect of domestic life.

After choosing some more shirts and slacks for Will and each independently
conspiring with their trusted salesperson, Will and Deanna prepared to settle
their accounts and have their purchases sent to their hotel. Deanna convinced
Will to let her settle the account with the store. For a rare change, she took
advantage of the financial benefits of the Fifth House of Betazed.

Will and Deanna spent some more time exploring the markets. They found a
wonderful mask shop that had several irresistible choices. They found at least
two a piece, including ones in black to match their Monday outfits. Deanna’s
nose led her to the fudge shop. She sighed with pleasure at the sampling of
the real chocolate. The efficient officer in her came through as she queried
about packaging, duration of freshness, and other items. Satisfied, she and
Will left with a few pounds of Deanna’s favorite vice.

“Don’t spoil your appetite, Dee. We have an amazing lunch ahead of us. We are
going to a New Orleans institution – K-Paul’s kitchen. Don’t let the decor
deter you. This atmosphere is rustic and cozy, but the food is unbelievable”
Will told his Imzadi.

Deanna was only a little surprised at the gourmand Will had become. It was
only natural since he loved to cook. Also, growing up in Alaska had taught him
to appreciate fresh, good seafood. As Will told her, after the environmental
clean-ups in the 2100’s, Gulf Coast seafood was better than ever.

Will was right on target about the place. It had a comfortable feel to it –
not the grandeur or the stuffiness of most four star restaurants. It didn’t
take Will very long to pick out his items, so he helped Deanna with hers.
“What are you in the mood for, Imzadi?”

For once, Deanna did not play with the potential innuendo of that comment. She
was already hungry and the divine smells were driving her crazy. She hoped her
suit would not rip when she was finished. “Well, I’ve always wanted to try
gumbo. I’ll start with that.” She and Will decided to get different main
courses and try each other’s dishes. Deanna chose stuffed shrimps, and Will
ordered crawfish etoufee. Deanna had a hard time letting herself eat fried
food, but one bite of the hushpuppy (fried corn-meal ball) changed her mind.
By the time the fried stuffed shrimp came, she was eating like a native.

Will and Deanna did not talk much, but sounds of “oohh,” “yum,” and “mmmm” came
from the table. They both enjoyed the guilty pleasure of surrendering to the
magic of truly decadent, well-prepared food. While waiting for the dessert
menu, Deanna put on her social scientist hat. “I think our enjoyment of the
dishes in enhanced by the carnival atmosphere of this time and this place.
There is magic in every indulgence – what normally would feel a little
extraordinary becomes intoxicating. The effects are like being in love –
colors are brighter, food tastes better, and life is more wonderful.”

“Well, Counselor, what about people who are already madly in love? What
happens to them?”

“The state of being deliriously happy intensifies, becomes almost tangible.
Love creates a synergy with the joy of living found here,” surmised Deanna.

“I agree. The natives call it ‘joie de vivre.’ The Acadians, or Cajuns, also
have a saying – ‘Laisser les bon temps rouler’ – Let the good times role,” Will
cheerfully added. “This means the meal is not over yet – time to order

At Will’s suggestion, Deanna bypassed her usual chocolate choice for a
rum-soaked bread pudding. The waiter told them it would be big enough for both
of them, and she was right. It was huge and heavenly. The bread mixture was
flavored with real raisins and cinnamon, soaked in rum, and covered in a rich
creamy sweet rum sauce. It was the perfect ending to another wonderful meal.

Deanna sighed happily after thanking the chef. She wanted to meet the person
who could create culinary magic like that. She was sated and tired and
content. Even the increasing noise and merriment from the street of the French
Quarter could not shake her out of her satisfied tiredness.

Chapter Three C

“What do you say we return to our hotel for a nap? We
have a big night ahead of us! Tonight we attend a
ball, but I can’t tell you more than that now,” Will

“A nap sounds perfect, Will. I can’t believe I am so
tired so early in the day.”

“This is vacation – no guilt allowed about taking it
easy – as long as I am somewhere in your plans” Will
said, smiling lovingly at his spouse. Return to their
room they did. With relief Will saw that their
packages were there to meet them. He was a little
surprised that there were so many of them, but Deanna
was not surprised, so his good-naturedly shrugged his
shoulders and got ready for the nap.

Deanna was already ahead of him. She had removed her
striking black outfit and emerged from the bathroom,
clad in one of the hotel’s wonderful plush robes.
After requesting a wake-up notice for two hours ahead,
they lay down holding hands and slept off the effects
of their rich meal.

Deanna awoke to pleasant chimes. She felt refreshed
and kissed her still sleeping husband. He awoke with
a smile as he looked into the dark eyes of his wife.
Their gaze triggered their sublimated desires from the
morning and passion overtook them quickly. They
kissed again, hungrily, clutching at each other with
desire that had returned with interest. This time
they indulged their appetites for each other with an
abandonment in tune with the hedonistic atmosphere of
the Mardi Gras season.

Later, they held each other in the afterglow of their
burning passion. ~What was that and when can we do it
again~ Will asked his Imzadi.

~That was the return of the buried passion I spoke of
this morning~ Deanna replied.

~What happens if it’s ready and we are on duty?~ Will

~From what I can tell, that will not happen. The
release will come when our bodies and minds are in the
right state at the same time. As you can tell, the
timing was right just now.~ Deanna replied.

~I can have a lot of fun with this. Can I start
something in a staff meeting and collect at lunch?~
Will was already making plans for their return to

~ONLY if I reciprocate your interest, Sir~ Deanna
tried to appear stern, but grinned on the inside. She
knew Will would never do anything inappropriate or
unprofessional, but he was right. This did have

Will bolted out of bed and informed Deanna it was time
to get ready for the evening.

~ But Will, what are we going to do?~

~Do you remember meeting my friend Bobby Lasseigne?
Well, he is from New Orleans and is a member of the
Krewe of Rex. Tonight, my dear, we are his guests at
the preeminent Mardi Gras ball New Orleans has to
offer – the Rex Ball.~

Deanna’s delight shone in her eyes and Will felt it
bubble through their link. ~We have about two hours
before we meet Bobby. Time for a bath and for us to
nibble on a light dinner ordered in. How does that
sound to you? I’ve heard the deVille has a fantastic
fruit and cheese tray and great fresh bread.~

~ As usual, perfect~ Deanna gratefully replied. Since
renewing their relationship, they had become able to
sense each other’s moods and desires of a sensory
nature, too. Their moods and tastes had always
complemented one another, but now they were developing
a sense of mutual timing. It helped their goals, as
well as their souls, to become one.

While Will ordered dinner, Deanna enjoyed a private
soak in the amazing bathtub. She used the shower to
give her hair a thorough washing using the same
wonderful almond shampoo she had used on Will the
previous evening. The time alone provided her an
opportunity to gratefully reflect on their vacation so
far. She decided that New Orleans was one of her
favorite places on earth and wondered if her mother
had been there. However, her mother did not need an
excuse to shed her inhibitions.

When Deanna emerged, squeaky clean, sat down with her
Imzadi in companionable quiet as they nibbled on their
meals and thought about their preparations for the
evening. Soon Will left to take his turn in the
bathroom, leaving Deanna a chance to locate a little
present she had beamed down from the Enterprise.

Deanna found her dress for the evening with a little
note from her new boutique friend wishing her a
magical evening. How thoughtful! The dress was
everything she expected from her shopping.
Complementing the outfit were nude high-heeled
sandals, silk stockings, and a pale lavender garter
belt. On her upper arms she placed intricately
designed delicate bands. She used a jeweled silver
half-tiara to loosely gather up her hair, leaving
curling tendrils about her neck and face. In her ears
were diamond solitaire studs, a gift from Will that
had belonged to his mother. Her engagement and
wedding rings brightly shone from her delicate
fingers. Deanna’s make-up enhanced her dark eyes
using subtle shades on her cheeks and lips. The
effect was completed by the addition of perfume – a
pheremonic gardenia scent made richer with a hint of

To help create the aura of mystery she was attempting
to achieve, Deanna covered herself in a light long
lavender cape the same shade as her dress. She also
had a hand-held sequined and silk mask of the same
color suspended on a thin silver wand.

When Will emerged, dressed from the bathroom, his eyes
lit up and his smiled widened with joy and pride. His
Imzadi was gorgeous and would be the belle of the
ball, he felt. Deanna appraised his outfit,
approvingly. He looked dashing in his new tuxedo and
he wore them with as much authority as a Starfleet
uniform. Deanna thought to herself that Will deserved
and wore well finely tailored clothing.

~Imzadi, how did you ever dress yourself so well?~
Deanna asked teasingly.

~My father, regardless of his faults, taught me how to
use studs and cuff-links~ Will replied.

~Here, let me straighten your tie.~ It was fine but
Deanna wanted to fuss over him and Will wanted her to.
It drew her closer to him and he savored her perfume.

~You smell good, yourself, Imzadi. You don’t wear
cologne often, but it suits you and is VERY enticing.~
She loved the cool, yet musky smell of his cologne.

Before she became too distracted by the very handsome
and very masculine man in her arms, Deanna reached for
the tiny wrapped gift. Will opened the box to find
onyx and gold tuxedo shirt studs. He was delighted
and confused at the same time. What about the ones he
was wearing?

~I arranged for you to get decoy studs since I knew I
had these, Love.~ Deanna explained. I had them beamed
over while you were in the bath. These belonged to my
father, and Mother wanted you to have them.~

Will was moved by the workmanship of the gift as well
as the generosity of Lxwana. ~Here, let me help you
with them.~ Will could not refuse such an offer from
his Deanna.

~I must thank your mother.~

~I think one of your bear hugs and a holopic of the
evening will be a welcome sign of your gratitude. I
hope we can a chance to get an image of ourselves so
out-of-uniform~ Deanna communicated, smiling.

~Well, dear, if you could read my mind, you’d know the
hotel has a photographer on retainer who will be
meeting us downstairs. First let me get my cloak.~


~Yes, there is a reason you have one, too. Tonight is
formal dress, cloaked. It is a new twist they are
adding this year. I will enjoy the gallantry,~
replied Will.

~So will I~ sighed Deanna. Will looked too dashing
for words. The cloak added a bit of mystery.

Will also picked Deanna’s mask as well as a masculine
black one for him, and escorted Deanna out the door.

After their pictures, a horse-drawn carriage was
waiting to take them to the Krewe of Rex Ball. Deanna
felt like a princess in a fairy tale. “This must be
the happily ever after part,” she thought.

~It certainly is, for both of us.~ Will replied,

“I didn’t know I was projecting,” Deanna said, with a
little blush appearing on her pretty cheeks.

“Just a little. I think I picked it up because I was
thinking almost the same thing.”

Deanna and Will enjoyed the rest of the ride in
silence, holding hands watching the lights and people,
all celebrating in a frenzy.


Chapter Three D

Deanna and Will soon arrived at the ball, and gave the
uniformed doorman their invitation. Bobby Lasseigne
was waiting in the foyer for his guests. Will’s eyes
lit up when he saw his old friend, and the men shared
a warm handshake.

“Deanna, allow me to introduce Mr. Bobby Lasseigne,
Esquire. Bobby, my lovely wife, Deanna.”

Bobby took Deanna’s hand and gently kissed it, bowing.
“Avec pleasure, chere. Welcome to New Orleans. I’m
so glad you and Will could join us! Maria is waiting
at our table.”

As they walked to the table, Will and Bobby caught up
a little more. “Bobby, with your Starfleet duties,
how to you manage to get to Mardi Gras year after

“Well, it’s unusual, but I had it written into my
agreement when I signed up. It’s an issue of
religious freedom, diplomatic necessity, and good
sense of the part of Starfleet. Now that more and
more Starfleet big whigs are coming to New Orleans at
this time of year, I’ve invented a new sort of
Diplomatic Service – getting officers out of trouble
discreetly, he said with a wink.”

“Forgive me for asking, but what is the origin of your
accent? It’s quite charming” Deanna voiced.

“Thank you, chere! I could say the same thing. It’s
a homegrown New Orleans ‘Yat’ accent. Glad you like
it, “ Bobby replied good-naturedly. Deanna could
sense that Bobby was a special person – easy going,
loving, non-judgmental, and faithful to his loved
ones. She smiled back at him warmly, glad that Will
had such a friend.

As they approached their table, Bobby’s smiled started
glowing. “Allow me to introduce my wife – Maria Anne
Hebert Lasseigne. Maria, this is my good buddy Will
and his new bride, Deanna.” Deanna sensed that Maria
was a soul as good as Bobby. She was quite a beauty,
with dark, gently curling hair and dark brown eyes.

‘Bon soir, Mes Amis! Thank you for joining us. I
hope you don’t mind I’ve already poured us some
Champaign. I’m looking forward to some old-fashioned
girl talk with you, Deanna.” Deanna and Will both
smiled at this warm greeting. This would be a lovely
evening indeed!

After they were settled, Will observed his
surroundings. The tables were full of elegantly
dressed people laughing and drinking. No one had
started dancing yet, as they were waiting for the King
and Queen of Rex to arrive. With a mixture of
jealousy and pride, Will noticed as more and more men
started staring at Deanna. Sometimes Will forget the
effect Deanna had on men. He took her hand in his
making sure her wedding ring shone. Maybe it was a
little chauvinistic of him to be so protective. He
let his eyes lose focus and then looked at Deanna.
With “fresh” eyes he let himself see what other men
saw, and he gasped. She was a radiant vision of
beauty. With the style of her dress, she truly was a

“Excuse me, Maria. I have a sudden need to kiss my
wife,” Will explained as he interrupted her
conversation with Deanna. He then made good with his
promise, to Deanna’s delight. Deanna could sense the
twinges of pride, jealousy, regret, and love from her

~Will, all is as it should be. We are together and
that is all that matters.~

~Thank you, Imzadi. I’m still so sorry it took us so
long to become a couple again~ Will replied, as he
squeezed hand.

~No regrets, Beloved. This is a time of celebration~
Deanna sent as she kissed him again.

Bobby and Maria were head to head, quietly whispering
to each other. They had the look of a couple who had
spent years together and were still very much in love.
It was a look Deanna and Will wanted to have the rest
of their lives.

“Please tell me more about your children” Deanna said
to Marie. The conversation continued pleasantly.
Deanna liked Bobby and Marie Lasseigne as much as she
thought she would, and they were equally enchanted
with her. The Champaign flowed and the even
progressed wonderfully.

Not too much later, trumpets announced the arrival of
the King of Rex and the introduction of the court. In
hushed whispers, Bobby and Maria explained how the
King and his court were chosen from the members of the
Krewe. Their counterparts were then chosen from the
children and spouses of the crew-members, but not
their own. In the past, the Monarch had always been a
male – a King. In the recent centuries, women Krewe
members could be chosen as the lead Monarch. This
year happens to have a king, whom had been elected.
This was the first appearance of the King and his
court in their finery. The elaborate costumes are
also part of the carnival, and would be worn in
tomorrow’s parade.”

The King and his court were the center of attention as
they were introduced to their guests with much pomp
and circumstance. Their costumes were elaborate –
with brightly colored satins, silks and gauze trimmed
with ermine, semi-precious jewels, and rhinestones.
They wore headdresses, trains, and other accessories
that were large, bright, and bigger than life.

After the introduction, the King and his Queen danced,
followed by a dance for the monarchs and the court.
After that, the dance was open to all ball-goers, who
were eager to join the fun.

The first open dance was a waltz, and Will stood up to
formally ask Deanna to dance. Her eyes sparkled as
she replied yes, and soon she was in Will’s arms.
They danced together skillfully. Not only did they
learn in their youth (one of the advantages of Will’s
boarding school and Deanna’s drilling from her
mother), they were in tune to each other’s rhythms as

~Will, this feels so right. We should dance together
more often. ~ Dee loved the feeling of Will’s strong
arms holding her and their bodies close together
moving to the music.

~Agreed, Dee.~

After several more song selections, the Imzadis sat
down to catch their breath. Soon, Bobby and Marie
joined them after their own spin on the dance floor.
“Look, the King is descending from his throne.” Maria
explained that this was a new tradition – the Monarch
asks one of the guests for a dance. The first one is
part of the pageantry, as the King and Queen bestow
their favor on two in their kingdom.

“What is the point? Deanna asked?”

“I think to make guests feel more welcome. The
mystery certainly is fun” Bobby replied.

Everyone watched the King walk around the ballroom,
gallantly waving to the crowd and smiling. After a
full turn around the room, he began the circle once
again, and approached the table where Will and Deanna
were sitting. Bowing, he stood in front of Deanna,
asking her to dance. Deanna blushed and looked to
Will and Marie, who both smiled and nodded. Deanna
rose and took his hand, her diplomatic and officer
instincts kicking into gear.

~Enjoy, Imzadi. The King made a perfect choice.
You’re beautiful~ Deanna heard in her head as Will
sent his support.

~Thank you, Will.~

Deanna turned her empathic senses to her new dance
partner. This helped her to take her mind off of
being in the spotlight for their dance, a classic
waltz. This dance seemed to be a universal favorite.
Deanna could tell the man was a little intoxicated but
good-natured and very courtly. He was having a
wonderful time and was felt like all of the ball-goers
were his personal guests.

“Thank you for the dance, Madame. My name is Richard
Morvant and I hope you are having a good time.”

“Thank you, King Morvant, Deanna said with a smile.
My name is Deanna Trio Riker, I’m with my new husband,
and having a time too wonderful for words” Deanna
graciously and sincerely replied.

Will swelled with pride as he watched his wife dance
gracefully with the stately King of Rex. A little
part of him wanted to jump on the table and shout
“That’s my wife, isn’t she beautiful” but he happily
restrained himself and talked to Bobby and Maria. “So
tell me, you two. What do you think of Deanna?”

“I’m glad you got the sense knocked into you to marry
her!” exclaimed Bobby. The Trio-Riker romance was
legendary in Starfleet. Even the most jaded of
officers was touched by their romantic if lengthy
history. “Marriage suits, you Will. I’m delighted for
you, and hope you be as happy as Maria and I have
been” Bobby continued, squeezing his wife’s hand.

“As do I, Bobby. Thank you for letting us join you.
This is a wonderful experience we’ll treasure always.”

“We’ve enjoyed it as much as you have. Be sure to
come back” Maria responded with a smile.

Will then turned his attention to his bride. While
Deanna was acting like the perfect lady, some
unladylike thoughts started to seep into Will’s mind.
It was a strange feeling, watching his wife with
another man (even if innocently) and sending him
erotic messages. To put it bluntly, it was definitely
a turn-on. Will enjoyed the attention for a moment
and then responded in kind.

~...and I can’t wait to get you alone, Imzadi. What
are you wearing under your dress….~ Will sent back to
her. It was fun to see if he could ruffle her
composure. Deanna’s steps never faltered, but he
almost swore he saw her blush again.

Deanna was soon escorted to the table by the gallant
King, who posed for a picture with his dance partner
and then bowed again, leaving Deanna with a little
souvenir. It was a gold version of the Rex doubloons
to be thrown at tomorrow’s parade. Deanna was pleased
at the thoughtfulness.

At the same time King Rex was returning to his throne,
the Queen ventured out to find her dance partner.
When she passed Will she deliberately smiled at him,
but in the end chose a well-known celebrity. Even
Deanna could not fault her choice with the charismatic

“Disappointed, Will?” Deanna asked, teasingly.

“Just a little. I won’t have the chance to make you
jealous” he teased back.

“No need to, Dear. Even married, the cadets and crew
members on the Enterprise forget to breathe when you
are around” Deanna answered with a wink and a smile.

While they teased, Deanna and Will could feel the
desire that had been sparked by Deanna’ s earlier
dance growing. In the heat of the carnival spirit,
they fed the desire with glances, projected caresses,
and the touch of their hands. Not soon enough, the
speaker announced the Full Cloak and Mask Dance.
Deanna and Will followed their hosts example. The
dance was a new minuet, and the partners never
touched, using their hands to hold their masks draw
their cloaks back from the feet. However, as they
could see on the monitors, the effect was mesmerizing,
making the ball look like a masked party from the
past, full of mystery and suspense.

Dancing so close while never touching further fueled
the Imzadi desire. Deanna and Will continued their
mental seduction of one another, both breathing
heavily by the time the dance was done. “Bobby, will
you excuse us? We are going to get some air” Will
hurriedly said in passing.

“Funny how this dance has that effect on people, eh
Maria?” Maria’s own eyes were smoldering as she
started caressing her husband under the table.
Quickly Bobby was glad that the Rikers chose to leave
for a few minutes.

At that moment, Will and Deanna walked out into the
courtyard. It was more like a large garden, with
benches, trees, and hedges. They saw other couples
strolling and sitting here and there in the courtyard
while waiters discreetly distributed Champaign.

~Are you thinking…~

~Yes, Deanna. I want you now.~

~Thank goodness for the cloaks, Will ~ she naughtily
thought to him.

With a single purpose, Deanna and Will found a
darkened alcove. Will gently but firmly placed Deanna
against the wall and began kissing her hungrily as his
hands started caressing her arms and the outlines of
her dress against her breasts. Their masks dropped
forgotten to the ground as Deanna moaned and reached
for his belt and trousers. Her boldness made Will
even more mad with desire and his gentle touches took
on a new urgency has he began to lift the hem of her

He caressed slim legs in silk stockings. As his hand
moved higher, Deanna’s moans grew faintly louder.
They were tried to be quiet to avoid attention but
their bodies were trembling with desire and the thrill
of such public affection. Will’s heavy breathing
turned to a gasp when he reached the top of Deanna’s
thighs. She was ready for him in more ways than one,
wearing no panties under her garter belt.

As he continued to stroke her, one hand was on her
perfect breasts and one was in her heavenly lower
regions. Their kisses grew deeper and more urgent as
Deanna used one hand to untuck Will’s shirt and
lightly run her nails against his firm chest. Her
other hand was inside of his trousers, her
ministrations making him lose touch with reality.
Finally they could stand it no longer. Will made sure
his cloak was wrapped about them as Deanna positioned
herself to allow Will access to her innermost self.
Their cries muffled by kisses, they engaged in the
most daring and exciting loving of their lives

~Thank you, Imzadi. I’ve always wanted to do that~
Deanna sent to Will

~Break a law? Will asked.

~Yes, make love in public.~Deanna replied.

Will grinned. ~Anything else you’d like to try?~

~Not tonight.~ Will and Deanna straightened
themselves up, and soon returned to the table, none
worse for the wear except for their twinkling eyes.
The ball would continue for hours, but Will and Deanna
left with their hosts around 3:00 a.m. The evening
had been perfect. The Imzadi couple gratefully
thanked their hosts again and made plans to see them
again before they left New Orleans.

As they returned to their hotel, Will’s arms about
her, Deanna sighed with contentment. Tonight she
would dream of balls and Kings, Queens, costumes, and
the magical love of her handsome husband and Imzadi.
Will, too would be dreaming of the angel he had
married who continued to surprise him in the most
delightfully wicked ways.