Afternoons and Evenings in Paradise
By Lao-ma

The aftermath of an evening spent together.

Deanna rolled over in bed and stretched, greeting the day with a smile. "Deanna, are you awake?"
The counselor's heart felt a certain warmth as she recognized the voice coming from the kitchen. But that wasn't what had brought her to the dawn. It was the familiar scent of chocolate that stirred her senses. Will Riker knew just how to make her morning. She tossed the sheets over, and got out of bed. After a quick trip to the bathroom, she went into the kitchen and found him making breakfast, or rather, her idea of breakfast-a hot fudge sundae, of course.
Deanna slowly came up from behind Will and put her arms around his chest. *Good morning, Imzadi,* her mind whispered to him. A small amount of the previous evening's passion still remained in her thoughts.
Riker took her hands in his and kissed them. *Yes it is, my love.*
Catching a glimpse of the creation he seemed to be sculpting, she teased, "Trying to get me into bed with you by giving me a sundae once again, are you?"
He turned away from his 'home-made' masterpiece to her, "Why would you ever think a thing like that, my dear? I'm not nearly as devious as you make me up to be."
"No, of course not," she teased with mischief in her eyes, "you're worse."
Will wrapped his arms around Deanna's waist, and pulled her close. "I guess that old saying is right: Things do get better with age."
"Yes they do," she added before kissing him. Last night's passion quickly returned. Deanna looked into his eyes and suggested, *Why don't we just skip breakfast and go right to dessert? * She let the thoughts in her mind clearly indicate that she didn't mean food.
*And spoil all my hard work?* he responded.
Deanna laughed. "You consider calling up my specialized hot fudge sundae recipe on a replicator hard work? What was last night, then?"
He grinned and locked his eyes into hers, "Soul searching."
The tone in her voice went deep, "And did you find what you were looking for?"
"Yes I did..." Then as his trademark grin found its way to his face again, he added, "after we got past the foreplay." Deanna wrapped her arms affectionately around his neck and smiled as well, "That was my favorite part."
"I know," he said, "Especially when you..."
She silenced him abruptly with the tip of her finger, and changed the subject. "You know, I think you're right. I don't think we should let this beautiful work of perfection go to waste."
"Alright," he agreed. He broke from her embrace and went to retrieve a spoon and the sundae. Deanna took a chair at the table and waited patiently. Will handed the spoon to her, and said, "Let's eat, shall we?"
Without hesitation, Deanna gently dug the spoon into the thick, velvety substance, picked it up, and then proceeded to feed it to him. He took it in with pleasure and smiled. Deanna dipped the spoon again, and took a helping of her own. Her face clearly showed that she was pleased. For both of them, this truly was paradise found...somewhere out in the galaxy.