What Lies Within Us
Timeline: Current/Day 3 After Risa/Evening
It was nearly evening, and Alex stood waiting outside Alora's quarters having just pressed the chime button. He smiled down to Saxon, who looked questioningly back up to him. "Do you think she'll want to Dad?"
Alora cursed as her make shift oven smoked a little, she quickly removed the fallen souffle and dumped it into the little container of water before it could set off alarms. She could rebuild a torpedo blind folded but she couldn't cook complicated dishes. She glared at the blackened mass as though it personally offended her. Fortunately she was in civilian clothes and not PJ's as her chime went off. She quickly programmed the computer to remove the smoky smell and tossed a towel over the mass in the container behind the table as she answered the door. She was just glad her roommate was out for the evening.
Seeing who was there she smiled at them, "This is a surprise, come on in..."
Alex returned her smile and the two walked inside. "Saxon has something he would like to ask you." he said as he looked down at his son.
"Would you like to join us for dinner?" Saxon grinned up at her, his dark eyes bright.
Alora glanced at her own attempts and looked down at Saxon with a rueful smile. "Well it so happens my plans are open." She glanced over at Alex, "Let me clean up, where to?"
Alex had followed Alora's glance, and now curious as well as amused, and a bit thrown off, he hesitated. He hadn't thought about it. There just weren't many full meal replicators on the Armstrong, and those were in the messhall...where he usually ate.
So he shrugged. "Any ideas Saxon?"
Alora had been joking, there simply wasn't that many places to eat but she was curious what Saxon would say. In her opinion they didn't usually have mundane ideas like eating on the hull of the ship in space suits.
"A`picnic..on a dock..at...at Hyams Beach...like we did before, dad," Saxon grinned, " and we can fish!"
"Well...that's an idea." Alex lightly chuckled as he looked down fondly to his son, and then over to Alora, "Hyams Beach is in Australia..."
"Where dad grew up." Saxon added.
"Oh really?" She smiled and knelt in front of Saxon, "I'll tell you a secret..." She whispered conspiratorially, "I've never been to Hyams Beach and it sounds like fun." She thought Alex must of gotten time on the holodeck since that was the only way it might work unless he really meant they were going out on the hull in space suits.
Smiling, Saxon cupped her ear and whispered back loudly, "It is and I catch more fish than dad."
Alora smiled amused at Saxon's antics. "Well good then you must be the one to teach me to fish, for while I have been to the beach I have never fished." She rubbed his head fondly then grabbed a duffle and tossed a few beach items in it. She put the bag over her shoulder. She smiled at them both, "Well shall we go?"
It was a while later, and Alex laid on his side, propped on one elbow, facing Alora. A picnic basket was placed off to one side, and each with a glass of synthehol-ed white wine. He smiled as he took another drink from his glass, unable to take his eyes off of the pretty specialist who sat across from him. They were on a wooden pier with a beautiful view of a white-sand beach and clear turquoise water. Three fishing poles were placed in rod holders anchored down to the edge of the pier, Saxon laid sleeping on his back behind them.
Alora smiled at the sleeping boy as she sat nearby with her hands resting on her knees after admiring the view again. This really was a nice place, "Who knew he'd wear out first? I swear after the tenth 'tag' I thought I was going to fall over..."
Alex chuckled, twisting himself to look over at his son, and smiled again, when a sadness seem to overshadow the moment. He placed his glass down. "I should take him back to his mum." he said, and turned back to her, "Will you wait for me here?"
"Sure, He's a great kid by the way." She said not sure what to say about that look so said nothing.
After giving her a small smile, with an appreciative look in his eyes for her words, Alex stood. "That he is." he said quietly, and then reached down to scoop up his son. He forced another smile at her before summoning the arch, and left.
Alora sat for a moment enjoying the silence, letting her mind roam. After a few minutes she gave in to an impulse and removed the shirt and shorts she wore over her one piece bathing suit (very tasteful) then walked out into the waves, then sat back down. Something she used to do as a child just sit and let the waves swamp her. Closing her eyes she laid down on the top of the water, using her arms to support her as the waves gently pushed her body about as her hair rested loosely on the water.
Several more minutes went by, and a shadow loomed over her, a body slowly laid back into the water next her, and water started being sprinkled over her, first on her chest, then on her face...
Alora sat up sputtering, "Hey?!" she said laughing, "I see attacking a defenseless woman are you?" Then she shifted position and using her legs like the back wheel on a river boat churning up alot of water to splash him back without mercy.
Alex, without a shirt now, was thrown back laughing, his arms up as he tried to block her defensive assault. "Defenseless?!" he continued to laugh, and then grabbed onto her arms as she stopped, bringing his face close to hers, boyishly smiling.
Feeling freer than she had in a while and with a grin that could only be described as wicked she tickled him as he let her go, she swam out of his reach. She stuck her tongue out at him then dove under the water...
"Okay..." Alex said low, loving the challenge, and started to dive after her only to feel her tug on his legs and pulling him under. He popped back up to the surface, and looked around for her to see her swimming away. "No fair!" he laughed before going after her.
Grinning she continued to swim circles around him, reveling in the chance to swim. She loved water and could swim like a fish, changing direction on a dime. She paused to make another face at him before taking off again, having entirely too much. It had been too long since she just relaxed and Alex made it easy to do so.
She was a good swimmer and Alex had to pour on the power to catch up to her, nearly getting kicked in the face as he grabbed onto a leg.
Alora spun in place smooth as a ballerina but did not kick him to free her leg. Which was impressive considering he still hand hold of one ankle. She hovered on the surface of the water still grinning. "Admit it I win or else..." She mockingly shook a fist at him.
"You win!" he laughed, and started inching his way up her leg, their eyes locking as his hands caressing her skin continued to bring them closer together. "Name your prize."
At that moment as she observed the look on his face Alora was struck by one very important thought. That one should not nudge a dragon unless they want to deal with the consequences, "I um..." She started, "Is there something wrong with the environment controls?" She asked looking around like she would see a temperature gauge floating somewhere...
With her leg having bent at the knee, Alex's hand brushed her thigh as he moved in closer to her, and he teased, "Are you getting too warm, Alora?"
Alora looked at him and did the first thing that came to mind and lied her butt off. With a less than believable "No." She replied.
"No?" he questioned knowingly, and then taking one of her hands, he lead her to a more shallow area where their feet could touch the bottom. Where he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close to him, their hips touching. He kissed her. Soft and gentle, tender and sweet, sensual and arousing.
Alora meant to put a stop to it but was entirely too busy trying to uncurl her toes. She almost wanted to check to see if the water was boiling around them. Her hands hovered for a moment as she hesitated then laid them on his shoulders.
When Alex ended the kiss, he was almost breathless. He pulled her tighter to him, if that was possible, and she molded against him fitting in all the right places. "Alora..." he whispered, suddenly afraid to say more. She made him feel things he wasn't use to feeling, but he knew she wanted to take things slow and he needed to slow down. For some reason it wasn't so easy for him to do.
"I know.." She said a little in awe herself, she didn't recall this level of intense but then again it had been awhile since she last dated so who she to know. She couldn't help but feel she'd remember this kind of thing though. When her arms worked again she gave a gentle push and when free dove under the water. She came back up gracefully and wiped the water from her eyes. She let out a huff of air, "You're dangerous you know that?" said with a hint of her usual humor.
Alex only stared back at her with a much more serious expression and tasting his upper lip as water dripped from where she had splashed him. "Yes... 'n' does that scare you?"
Alora stared distracted for a moment by that bead of water then managed, "Of course not...I gotta go..." then swam for shore.
Thrown off, Alex stared after her. Oh no.. "Alora!" he shouted out and inwardly cursed himself as he started out after her.
Alora was on the beach and getting dressed when Alex came splashing out the water. She paused at the sound of her name.
He walked over towards her breathing heavy, and stopped a few feet away. "Alora...I'm sorry..." he looked worried, "Please don't run away from me."
She turned to face him, "I'm not running..." Then realizing how she sounded, and taking into account the look on his face, she tried to explain, "I'm regrouping. It's a bit more than I'm used to..."
Alex nodded. "I know..." and continued to stare at her as he fought for the words to explain. "I'm all over the place...ever since...but I'll slow down, Alora."
Moved by the look in his eyes, she sighed and took a deep breath. "That's all I'm asking." She gave a small smile. "It's a bit like going downhill without brakes isn't it?" She admitted.
Fighting to keep his eyes from tearing up, Alex nodded and then swallowed. "Aye...'n' little out of control." He turned away and grabbed his shirt, started putting it on as he thought more about his behavior the past few weeks, beginning with having grief sex with Adara to reeling from the news he received only days ago that his brother was alive after all. Now here he was, wanting to rush things with Alora, a beautiful woman he really cared about, who made it clear she needed him to slow things down, and he wondered what the hell was wrong with him.
Alora paused for a moment looking at him after she'd gotten herself around. He looked like he was deep in his own thoughts and they weren't pleasant. She pursed her lips briefly considering, "Are you ok?" She asked concerned.
Buttoning the last button on his shirt, Alex looked back to her, thought about lying and then decided against it. "No...but it's nothing you've done. I don't want you to worry about it, it's just something I have to deal with..." he swallowed, and placed a hand on her arm as he smiled, "I had a nice time 'n' I hope you did as well."
"I did.." she said but he still had that hangdog expression. So she touched his arm lightly, resting one hand on his forearm and smiled. "You know my shoulders density is greater than or equal to the gravimetric pull of negative null space..."
Alex nodded, and just had to smile at her reference. He leaned in and kissed her lightly, and then pulled her into a hug.
She hesitated unsure where this was going but when all he did was hug her she relaxed and returned it. It was a nice, quiet feeling. "Speaking of gravimetric pull..." She muttered a hint of humor in her voice as she peaked over one of his shoulders.
Alex pulled back a little, keeping his arms around her, and taking in her face when his combadge went off.
=^=Simok to McKinney. Please meet me in Holodeck Two, Commander.=^=
Just to see him smile Alora mouthed "Party Pooper" at Alex.
And smile Alex did, and then sighed as he pulled away and tapped his badge. "I'm on my way, Mister Simok. " and then gave her a sly look, "Will you take a raincheck on my walking you to your door?"
Alora smiled back, "Of course, go do your job before Mr. Simok sends a search party." She picked up her bag and they headed for the door. She paused and turned. "I did have a nice time."
His smile grew before replying, "It meant alot to Saxon, he really likes you." and then after inhaling deeply spoke out, "Computer, arch". It appeared before them with the doors then opening as he touched the control panel. He turned back to her after they walked through it, and out into the corridor, "I would rather walk you to your door..."
Alora laughed, "Shoo..." She gave a gentle shove, "go work, I'm not going anywhere...shoo" She made a shooing gesture with a mischievous smile.
Rolling his eyes, Alex leaned back in, mirroring her smile and kissed her on the cheek. He then turned and started walking away.
She shook her head with a bemused expression and turned heading for her own quarters, making a mental note to call her sister. "She's got to hear about this..." She thought mulling over the days events.
Crewman Jaenke Alora, Dr.
Ship Tactical and Defense Systems Specialist.
Lt.Cmdr. Alex McKinney
SCE Team XO/Engineer