Disclaimer: All Star Trek characters belong to Paramount.

Deanna stood beneath the spotlight, her body frozen in her 'gladiator
stance'. Her stiff posture emanated pride and fury. From her tightly
knotted hair to her impossibly high dancing heels, she reflected
control and speed. She would need both of these qualities to succeed
tonight. The crowd was made of several hundred spectators, among them
were her the captain, Beverly, and most of her other closest friends
and co-workers. Her back was to him but she could feel his warm
breath on her neck, his strong hands on her waist. The moment of
silence ended and the orchestra swelled. The dance began.

The skin-tight red silk clung to her body as she began her trot. In
perfect unison her partner mirrored her steps. His blue eyes twinkled
down into hers merrily. " I was afraid you wouldn't make it. I know
you have been tied up as of late with your Ensign Ro. You should be
careful, I hear one can injure oneself quite easily with a Bajoran
partner." His lips moved almost imperceptably, the subtle smile never
leaving his face, as he murmured "I have yet to meet a female who
matches the calisthenics I shared with you."

Her hand reached out for the choreographed face-slap with just a
touch too much speed. He caught it gracefully and planted a kiss in
her palm with just a bit too much feeling. She flung her body out
then spun back to his arms, her thigh wrapping his waist, his hand
lingered just a bit too high, his grip far firmer than they had

The violins' song swirled about their heads. The sounds of the crowd
faded out to their own universe of rhythm and sweat and foot-taps,
and softly slapping flesh. The sparkling of her spangled gown faded
against  the fire in her eyes as she hissed, "If your timing was always
this good we never would have left Betazed." Riker's eyebrow arched
comically, then in a low growl he whispered, "Deanna, perhaps we
never did."

It was true. As her torso clung to his shiny black suit they were
there again. The jungle, their scents mingled in the warm mist. Her
braid flung itself free, whipping itself around their necks, binding
their faces inches apart. Their minds joined in that crazy fire-
waves- perfume-thunder place. The song ended with their lips inches
apart, their pose more intimate than a kiss.

The crowd roared their applause as though they shared in the nearly
orgasmic emotions of the dance. They took their bows and joined the
other dancers to await the judges' decision. She panted softly and
wondered how her search for a new work-out had led to this ancient
Terran ritual. She had seemed to be made for those primitive rhythms
and the release of the fiery emotions the Tango always inspired in her.
Still, as she glanced at Riker's sweaty face and that distinct look of
arousal in his eyes, she wondered if she was playing with her own
emotional fire.

She barely heard the announcement of their victory. Robot-like, she
walked to the center of dance floor and accepted the bouquet as Riker
took the ribbon from the judge with a hand-shake. Their friends
rushed up with hugs and congratulations, and it was over.

"Computer, end program" she said, still slightly out of breath. She
stood in the middle of the empty holodeck, her gown soaked with
sweat. As she turned to the exit arch she gasped as she saw him.
Will. He had seen the whole program. Her secret dance. "Brava" he
quipped, "How about an encore?"