((Captain's Quarters, USS Victory))
::With business finished, and the ship barreling toward the Neutral Zone, Jaxx moved to his quarters. The meal had been ordered, and he had enough time to shower and change before whichever of the two arrived first, between the feast and the newly donned Lieutenant. Moving into his room, he grabbed a tee shirt and a pair of jeans. It was more comfortable to him that the traditional Betazoid fashions. After a quick shower, Jaxx move back out into the living area. With the towel still around his neck, he turned as the door chimed.::
::Swooshing open the crewman came in with the tray.::
Jaxx: Thank you, Petty Officer Hutchens. On the table is fine.
Hutchens: ::setting the tray down:: Would you like me to remain to serve the meal, Captain?
Jaxx: ::smiling:: No thank you. I can manage.
Hutchens: Is there anything else, Sir?
Jaxx: I think that will do it, thank you.
::With a nod the crewman stepped out. Jaxx moved over to the table, and removed the cover to the tray. He picked up one of the steamed vegetables from her plate and took a bite. It was good, though he was unsure of its origin. There was a fresh fruit salad for dessert, compliments of Captain Asarri. Jaxx ordered a bacon double cheeseburger, and fries cooked the old way, in hot oil. He was not sure if she had ever tried french fries, but she definitely had not had these. The door chimed once more, and he smiled.::
:: Tressa had walked to Jaxx's quarters with more ease than previously demonstrated. Other than some mild tightness her chest was feeling much better, and her hands were now semi functional. As she wandered along the corridor she passed a crewman walking the other way, she paid him little attention, as her mind was on Jaxx and the impending dinner. ::
:: Outside his door, she paused only a moment to check the dress she had chosen, as she brushed a loose piece of lint from it, the light material fluttered slightly. She smiled, she had worn it simple because she wanted to for him. She would have been just as comfortable in the jeans and singlet from earlier in the day; but the dress, which sat level with her knees making it shorter than any of her sundresses, sat happily on her figure; and she was sure Jaxx would like it. She straightened one of the straps so thin they were almost non existent, and once happy with her general appearance, pressed the chime. ::
Jaxx: Computer music....random classics from Gideon. ::turning to the door as the music began playing:: Enter.
:: Tressa smiled as she entered the quarters and the familiar music surrounded her. The sounds of the pipes, drums and random string instruments stirring memories of her family back on Gideon, of soft glowing paper lanterns, the sun setting and the sounds of her family and neighbours laughing, dancing; simply enjoying life. Her smile was fond and reminiscent as her eyes focused on Jaxx.::
Jaxx: Good evening, beautiful...::smiling:: I mean Lieutenant.
:: She laughed lightly as she crossed the room and walked towards him, wrapping her arms around him she hugged him tightly. She was getting use to the idea that her role on the Victory had changed, MacKenna had picked her and more than anything she didn't want to disappoint her, the change in rank was something that just came with it. ::
Tressa: :: Grinning up at him :: So a promotion? I was seriously ready to remind the Commander that *I'm* the one with brain damage on this ship. :: She giggled, then raised a brow :: And we are off duty, are we not? There's no rank, just us. :: She smiled ::
Jaxx: ::smiling:: True, but I could not resist.
:: She giggled. It was nice to have this moment, where she could just be herself and let her feelings show. While on duty, or at least in the briefing room, it was easy enough to focus on her duties instead of the tall Betazoid man, but now there was no need. In fact she didn't want to think about her duties, about Hobus, Romulus, or Scott. The only thing on her mind was Jaxx, and that's exactly how she wanted it. She finally parted from him, her eyes flickering to the table. ::
Tressa: :: Smiling :: This looks like quite the meal.
::The meal was out on the table, and as lovely as it was, it was nothing compared to her. The way the dress she was wearing clung to her figure was very complimenting. It was difficult for him, but he managed to peel his eyes off of her to place them on the food.::
Jaxx: I had something prepared for you, unfortunately I do not know what it is, but they assure me that those that do not consume meat love it. I, on the other hand, have a couple different animals on my plate.
Tressa: :: Giggling :: It smells great.
Jaxx: The meat? Or the...::getting closer to her plate on the table looking at it quizzically:: that. ::points::
Tressa: :: Grinning :: The food as a collective smells good.
Jaxx: ::pulling out her chair:: We should get started before it gets cold.
::Jaxx pushed in the chair as she sat down. His arms went to her shoulders, and he kissed her at the base of her neck. After lingering for a moment, he moved to his chair and took a seat. Pulling his plate in closer he looked at his fries and then back to the Gideon woman.::
:: His touch had been welcomed, and she tilted her head as his lips met her neck. She placed her hands over his, where they sat on her shoulders. As he pulled his plate towards him and looked to her, she met his eyes. ::
Jaxx: Have you ever had french fries?
Tressa: :: Frowning thoughtfully :: They don't sound familiar... what are they?
::Jaxx smiled and held up one of the skinny fried vegetables.::
Jaxx: It is a potato, some kind of vegetable that grows in the ground. Anyway, they cut it into strips and they fry it. ::eating the one he was holding, and moved his plate closer to her::
Tressa: :: Smiling :: I'll try anything once... well almost anything :: She winked ::
Jaxx: They are good if you dip them in condiments as well.
:: She giggled and reached for the offered 'french fries'. Her hand was able to grasp the food lightly, and she popped it into her mouth, chewing thoughtfully. ::
Tressa: Mmm, not bad. :: She smiled ::
Jaxx: I tried them for the first time, last time I was on Earth. I did a stint at Command working on some special projects. There was a little place around the corner from my place. I used to eat there a lot. ::looking at her plate:: oO And it all looked much better than that. Oo So, do you recognize what they are feeding you?
:: Tressa turned her attention to her plate fully for the first time since entering the room. She smiled as she looked back at Jaxx. ::
Tressa: It looks like Matopin rock fungus, with some tartoc and clavisoa berries. A popular dish. Would you like to try some?
Jaxx: Sure...::pausing:: Wait...rock fungus? ::wincing:: I am not as adventurous with my food. Not that it does not look good. oO It so does not Oo I think I will pass this time. ::smiled::
:: She smiled and navigated her hand awkwardly around the cutlery she had. The healing done by her hands and the application of the dermal regenerator by Kali, had improved there functionality drastically. She was able to hold the cutlery weakly, their small size made it hard to hold them with much strength, when there was still only so much movability her hands could do. ::
:: Never-the-less, she could easily maneuver the food to her mouth. It was gratifying to be able to feed herself, and she felt immensely pleased with the minor accomplishment. ::
Tressa: :: Smiling :: I'll have to introduce you to some of my favourite dishes... I do owe you a dinner. :: She looked at her hands. :: Hopefully I'll be able to make it soon. :: She grinned ::
::His first thought was another meal with Tressa. The next thought was of what she would make. If it looked like that he was not a fan, but he would eat it if it was something she made. To be sure, he planned on eating before that meal, just in case he needed an out.::
Jaxx: ::smiling:: I look forward to it. ::taking a bite of his burger:: It is good to see Meira and Scott are back. I like having officers around that I know.
:: Tressa looked up at Jaxx and wondered if he knew of Scott's subtle advances. The mention of the Security officer, stirred the memory of their conversation outside the Ready Room, she was sad that he was hurt, at least he appeared hurt, and she wanted to cheer the man up, but at the same time, she didn't want Scott... or Jaxx... to get the wrong idea. ::
Tressa: Ensign Shepard is a good officer; I think he shows promise.
::Jaxx thought of the two officers. He would have to catch up with Raizel, but he knew where Scott had been. It was not the best of situations. Jaxx was familiar with his uncle and the reasons Scott was away. He looked at Tressa and smiled.::
Jaxx: That is a nice dress, by the way.
:: Jaxx's compliment was enough to bring her out of her thought's about the Terran man, and catch her attention. She smiled at him. Tressa had learnt enough from Chai to know how to catch a man's attention, more than not it was in a smile, a wink, or wearing a piece of clothing that complimented ones figure. Tonight she wanted to wear something for him, for no other reason than she knew he would like it. It wasn't something she usually did, dressing for men often invoke certain emotions and desires she tried to avoid in herself and others. But Jaxx stirred many thoughts, and emotions in her... and she liked them, despite her reluctance to except them. ::
Tressa: :: Smiling :: Thank you.
::Glancing down, he noticed the length of her dresses were getting shorter. If he were younger he would have interpreted it as a good sign. Fortunately for her, he was a bit older and not as wild. He did what he could to divert his focus back to her eyes, but found it to be a difficult task. Surely sickbay had something that could help him focus on the things he should, instead of the things he wanted. In case that did not work, he would need something for the latter.::
:: Tressa smiled, she had noticed Jaxx's eyes wandering more than once in the short exchange between them. In that moment she wanted nothing more than to hold him close and kiss him unlike she ever had before, she wanted to be close to him, closer than they were seated together at the table; but she was unsure where it would lead considering her current emotions. She looked to her food as she tried to bury the desires arising, as she had taught herself to do. Only when her eyes focused on Jaxx again did she see the distance in his eyes. She smiled as she spoke to him, ::
Tressa: Hey. :: A pause, and she giggled slightly touching his arm. :: Andrus?
::The room was the same. Jaxx was sitting where he was, and the only change was that he was now in his uniform, as was Tressa. Confused at first he took a bite of his food, which was some form of plant that looked like something out of a horror novel. He smiled a forced smile and took a bite. As the food hit his tongue, he felt as if he was being assaulted. The consistency was enough to make his stomach turn, and though his body language may not have been convincing, his face made it seem like it was the best thing in the world. A giggle to his right caught his attention. As he turned he spotted a small boy with blond hair, and dark eyes. The child looked no more than four or five. Jaxx looked at the child, deep in the eyes.::
Child: ~ Daddy, why do ya eat it if ya don't wike it?~
- Looking at the child he thought of the only answer that made sense.::
Jaxx: ~Because I love Mommy.~
Jaxx: ::glancing at Tressa realizing she was still speaking:: I am sorry? I was listening...I just got lost for a second. ::smiling::
Tressa: :: Giggling :: You looked light years away. I was just asking if you're alright?
Jaxx: I uh...
::He thought of the small boy, and the look in Tressa's eyes. A smile formed on his face and he spoke.::
Tressa: Your thoughts looked pretty intense, nothing too serious I hope?
Jaxx: oO Serious? Not yet, but getting there. Oo No...I am fine.
:: Tressa wondered if he was thinking of work, and of the Romulans. The situation was dire, and it would not end well, but she hoped Jaxx could relax if only for a moment. In a last minute decision, she stood from her seat and stepped behind his chair. Gently, she massaged his shoulders and neck; her hands where still healing but she could exert some pressure on them; at least enough to hopefully comfort Jaxx. ::
Tressa: :: Leaning forward to whisper in his ear :: You need to relax more.
::Jaxx watched as Tressa got up and came over behind him. As she started rubbing his shoulders he thought of her hands, and realized she wouldn't do anything to cause herself pain, so he closed his eyes for a moment and enjoyed it. Her fingers were like magic, performing a disappearing act that chased away any tension. His hands fell down to the sides of the chair. As they went limp, he brushed them up against her leg. The skin on his hand was so soft and smooth. His eyes opened as he tried to divert his attention.::
:: She smiled, and her touch became softer on him, gently rubbing his shoulders and neck for a while longer, before she leaned forward so her hands traced over his shoulders and down his chest. She looked at him sideways as her head drew level with him. ::
::Feeling her grasp ease up on his shoulders, her hands moved forward. She came down to meet him and he could see the Gideon woman. Her beauty was breathtaking, and he struggled to keep it.::
Tressa: Feeling better?
Jaxx: Much....::glancing to her hands:: You?
Tressa: :: Smiling :: Oh, yes...
::Grabbing her arm, gently, he pulled her into his lap. What seemed like a good idea at first, quickly displayed the flaws. He wrapped his arms around the woman and pressed his lips to hers. With his hands around her waist, and on her back he was not as gentle as he had been on the first kiss. She was not as fragile, and his attraction to her had only grown. He glanced around his quarters at the stereotypical setup. The lights were dim, and the music was playing. He held a rare treasure in his arms, and if anyone did not know the difference, it looked as if he planned it. Coincidence was evil, and he could only hope that she did not think that he presumed too much. After all, they just started seeing each other exclusively, they were not ready for the step that looked as if it had been planned.::
:: Tressa gave no resistance as Jaxx pulled her into his lap, and kissed her again. There was a firmness to his actions that had not been there previously, and she found herself matching it, her hands cupping his face, and trailing over his shoulders tenderly. The moment was perfect, as perfect as the Risan beach in the holodeck. The lights were dimmed, the music was soft, she was lost in his arms... if she wasn't locked in his kiss, she may have smirked; Jaxx certainly knew how to set the mood. There was no doubt she was attracted to Jaxx, more so than she would generally allow, but she couldn't allow herself to loose control, no matter how appealing the idea was getting recently. They parted gentle, and regarded each other, before Jaxx spoke. ::
::Jaxx was smart enough to not let the moment get away from him, at least this time. It took some work, but he was able to settle his deep thoughts of romantic encounters. Looking at the woman sitting in his lap he smiled, realizing that he was happy. In the midst of the pain and suffering Romulans were going to face...he felt he was the luckiest man in the galaxy. He looked at the woman and spoke the only words he could think of..::
Jaxx: You seemed to have regained some of your strength in your hands....
Tressa: Kali used the dermal generator on them this morning. :: She squeezed his shoulders softly :: They're much better. :: She smiled :: Don't suppose my excellent well being will keep you from telling Kali I was wandering around in uniform today? :: She grinned ::
Jaxx: ::teasing:: I am not sure...if it were me, I could keep the secret. But the CO caught you, I think there may be something there about duty, or something.
:: Tressa smirked, and drew closer to him. She gentle tickled her nose against his, and kissed him, letting her kisses rail over his cheek to his ear. Giving him one final soft kiss on his ear she whispered in his ear. ::
Tressa: :: Whispering :: How about *now*?
::The heat from her breath made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. His eyes were tightly closed as his concentration kept him sane. Swallowing hard, he answered the woman.::
Jaxx: I uh...suppose I could...let it slide.
Tressa: :: Giggling :: Fair enough.
Jaxx: ::smiling:: Fair enough.
::Picking Tressa up, Jaxx swung her around on his way to the sofa. As he neared he strategically fell with her in his arms. He was in the corner half sitting, with Tressa up against him. He smiled as he kissed the top of her head. Wrapping his arms around her, he sat taking in the moment. As a deep breath filled his lungs, he closed his eyes. The music in the room, Tressa in his arms...it all seemed so perfect. He started to realize that many of their moments were perfect. It reminded him of better days, days he would allow these emotions to flourish. These days he spent more time masking them, or trying to forget them all together. Tressa was different, yet familiar.::
:: Tressa giggled as Jaxx carried her, falling so she was against him. As Jaxx rested against the corner, Tressa cuddled in close to him, her head resting on his chest, her arms around him and her legs stretching out along side him. She smiled contentedly as she soaked in the moment, never wanting it to end. Jaxx's voice only added to the moment, and she tilted her head towards him as he spoke. ::
Jaxx: What is this music?
Tressa: It's an older piece. Not from my area; I can tell because of the way the instruments sound.
Jaxx: What is your favorite music from Gideon? Computer play...
Tressa: :: Smiling :: Seanne liach Pais.
:: The music started and Tressa closed her eyes as the sound of light drums filled the room accompanied by voices and the sound of a small woodwind instrument joined the sounds.As the music grew in intensity the sound of strings could be heard. Yes, this was one of her favourites, it was light, yet strong in sound, and Tressa had spent many a night dancing at the gatherings in the town centre to this tune. They were moments of happiness, and memories she cherished. The serenity of the moment was again soothed with Jaxx's voice. ::
::As the music started, Jaxx took it in. It had a better sound than what they were listening to before. He spoke softly into her ear.::
Jaxx: Tell me about yourself...the Gideon you. I want to know about your world, and customs...your people.
:: Tressa looked to him a bit unsure of what to say. Gideon was not as beautiful as Betazed, or Earth, or many places she had been. She had often found people didn't understand her people or why they were, the way they were. It was normal for Jaxx to want to know more about her species, there was almost nothing on them to read, and her people had kept outsiders at bay until the USS Enterprise had visited her planet a little over 100 years ago. Even then the Gideon council hadn't exactly rolled out the best greeting... kidnapping Captain Kirk was not the best diplomatic move of her people, but never-the-less, Gideons joined the federation not even 100 years ago. ::
Tressa: :: Smiling slightly :: Well, it's not as beautiful as Betazed. I assume you heard of the over population?
Tressa: :: Sighing :: It wasn't hard... and anyone could see it was going to happen. We have long life spans, stretching to three or four hundred years... small gestation periods :: She blushed slightly as she spoke :: a strict taboo against birth control, and as children we grow rapidly. In one year a Gideon child achieves the same amount of growth that a Terran child achieves in four. By the time a Gideon reaches ten years of age, most have started puberty. :: She shrugged :: Everything about us, is about life.
::For a moment Jaxx thought about her words. In one year a child would rival a four year old Terran. That must have meant Tressa stopped growing when she was just over two. He kept his teasing to himself, and just listened.::
:: Tressa squeezed Jaxx slightly ::
Tressa: I can't speak for all Gideon customs. Our planet is varied, we have different ideals depending on where you are... :: She frowned thoughtful :: Sort of like Earth. there is one unshakable truth though, that all Gideons hold dear; Life is Sacred. :: She smiled and continued :: We are governed by the Gideon Council, the whole planet. I was born long after the veganchoriomeningitis plague ended, my parents did not plan on having a child seeing as the planet was still recovering... but, well :: She blushed :: all humanoids have desires. :: She looked up at Jaxx :: My parents remember when the Enterprise went to Gideon. They said there was a lot of mixed reactions about releasing the virus, a lot of people were unhappy.
Jaxx: ::nodding:: I can imagine.
Tressa: It was a dark time for Gideon, we are supposed to preserve life, and yet we had to ask our own to sacrifice themselves. We don't have any gods; at least from my region. Where I come from we have the Essence. It's about as close as we get to any deities.
::Interesting. Religion was key element in most cultures, yet there was one that strives without it. Betazoids had many gods, and each one was distinctly different than the other. There was this Essence she spoke of, and he was curious. He assumed it was like an energy thing. As he held the woman he gave a short response.::
Tressa: :: Propping herself up so she could look him in the eyes :: You know when you look into somebodies eyes, and you can see a light, or a spark? You know that twinkle, that disappears when someone dies? That's the Essence. It's life, as it is. It's why the trees grow, why we have the will to live; it's what the Vulcans might call a katra, Terrans could call it a soul. :: She smiled ::
::Jaxx looked at the woman. The stare between their eyes was powerful, and he could not pull his away. Every time he looked at her, he seen that twinkle. Her eyes were so beautiful, men would lay their lives on the line just to get the chance to meet them with theirs. This treasure of Gideon is out among the stars, and yet...she was right here in his quarters. The music echoed through the living area. The soft beat of the drums were soothing, and at the same time in depth. The originality of the music was very interesting to him, and he made a mental note to add the composer to his playlist.::
Jaxx: ::as he starred into her eyes:: Your Essence is captivating. ::leaning in his kissed her softly:: And inviting. ::repeating his last action:: Mesmerizing...
:: Tressa met his lips every time enthusiastically, smiling at him between his kisses, and leaning into him when he lingered in the last. ::
::Her lips were the same, but he did not want to let her know that. He lingered a bit longer than usual on last kiss. He looked at the woman and smiled.::
Jaxx: I could get used to this.
Tressa: :: Squeezing him :: It is *very* comfortable. :: She rested her head on his chest, sighing contentedly ::
Jaxx: ::smiling:: I meant the music.
::Displaying a confused look, he formed it into a smile after she looked at him. The music was nice, but this was Tressa. In one day, he had seen her in a bathing suit, a uniform, and now the dress. He thought of them as a contest, and one that the uniform lost before it began. The dress was nice, but the bathing suit...to keep his thoughts semi-acceptable he had to go with the dress, although he did momentarily ponder what it would be like to go without it. In the end he figured it was the safest call, and agreed with himself that he liked it very much.::
:: Tressa glanced up, blushing at her mistake; it was a silly one to make. Though she *was* comfortable. Smiling sheepishly, she caught Jaxx's smile. ::
Tressa: :: Blushing :: Oh, um. Yeah, it's one of my favourites.
::Jaxx smiled at the woman. He found it fun to tease her when he could. It was what he did, and most of the time it was meant to be cute.::
Jaxx: ::yawning:: I am teasing, I mean you...spending time with you.
:: Tressa giggled, slightly, but the motion was short as she started to echo Jaxx's yawn. She set her head back on his chest and squeezed him lightly, huddling in close to his warm body. There wasn't anywhere in the universe she would have rather been, then right there, in Jaxx's arms. ::
Tressa: :: Giggling :: You're a tease, Andrus. :: There was a softness to her voice which showed she didn't mind, she tilted her head slightly to look at him, from where she laid. :: So tell me about Betazed?
Jaxx: Well...where do I start. A beautiful, rich cultured, and proud people. Two classes who do not see eye to eye on things, but the most trusting people you would ever meet. The landscape is filled with breathtaking sights, and when the seasons change in the mountains it is a beautiful time. There are many different things that are precious about that place...
:: Tressa smiled as she listened. Jaxx's was an interesting culture. Attending weddings naked? She giggled to herself. Watching him as he spoke she grew aware of how tired she was, she was reluctant for the night to end, far to comfortable in his embrace to mention her sudden exhaustion. As she stifled another yawn, she didn't realised her eyes drifting close, the only thing she could hear was the sound of Jaxx's heart and the gentle tone of his voice. ::
::Jaxx continued to describe his planet, until he heard a slight irregularity in her breathing. Moving his head slightly he noticed she was sleeping. He readjusted slightly, and pulled the blanket off of the back of the sofa and covered them. Allowing his eyes to close, he drifted off to sleep with her.::
Chief Science Officer
Commander Andrus Jaxx