By Carol Sandford


Chapter 06


Later at lunchtime in Ten Forward, a group of us were chilling down before the next shift began, chatting about the evening ahead. "Earth to Deanna. Hey, wake up." I laughed as Beverly Crusher gently shook her arm. "I hope you're not going to sleep away the evening later on. I've got lots of dancing to catch up on and I'm expecting you to be freaking out with me, my friend."

Deanna chuckled, bringing herself back from wherever she had drifted off to. "Course, wouldn't miss it for the world. It's the only place that I can guarantee that I can get a good old fashioned cuddle without being ravished at the same time."

I squeezed her shoulder and said with as much devilment that I could muster. "That's what you think, Ms. Troi. There are ways, y'know?" I waggled my eyebrows as several sets of eyes looked at me, either with admiration or astonishment, all pretence of our blossoming relationship completely out in the open for all to see. People were slowly getting used to seeing us as a twosome. That I struggled to keep my hands off Deanna at the best of times was also becoming very evident within our closest friends. With that in mind, I added for good measure. "Guess you haven't been subject to the ol' Riker Waltz Manoeuvre yet." Now I had them interested.

One look at my face had Deanna gasping nervously. "You wouldn't dare!"

I chuckled with delight at managing to embarrass the object of my affections, but still, a little teasing wouldn't hurt. "That depends on which dress you wear tonight, doesn't it, Ms. Troi?" There, the challenge was set. I was looking forward to seeing if she would go out of her way to avoid an embarrassing scene or whether she would indeed call my bluff.

Seconds later, Beverly was dragging her off to their quarters to peruse their wardrobes and I laughed at the absurdity of the woman's mind.

Data's voice cut into my enjoyable musings as we all watched them walk away. "If I may ask, Commander, what kind of sexual experience would deem suitable at a dance? I would have thought that any kind of shenanagens would result in a disciplinary, sir."

I laughed as I slapped the ever curious android on the back before walking away. "Data, you have a lot to learn about women - and no, I do not want to teach you. Ask Mr. Worf. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to satisfy your curiosity."

As I walked away I heard the unmistakable growl of the Klingon as the the innocent Mr. Data rounded on him, intent on learning more about the weird mating rituals of the rutting male.


When I punched the door buzzer later to escort Deanna to the dance, I inwardly laughed at her attire when she eventually acknowledged me. She obviously decided that she wasn't going to risk being ravaged on the dance floor so had opted to wear a pair of deep, dark emerald floaty trousers teamed with a shimmering sequinned halter-necked top in pale turquoise. Her hair was piled high with delicate tendrils framing her face and her make-up was overly flamboyant with lots of kohl accentuating her gorgeous dark eyes. Her heady scent made me groan aloud as it impinged on my libido and her cherry red lipstick had me quickly spinning away from her as that same libido quickly became a possible embarrassment and it took quite a few deep breaths to get myself back in order before I dared to face her again.

In her valiant effort to ward off my lewd advances, Deanna Troi had effectively done completely the opposite. She looked hotter than I'd seen her for a long time, and how in the devils name I was supposed to ignore her tempting body now was beyond my comprehension. But then, dressed in a sack cloth, Deanna would still manage to look drop dead stunning.

On the way to the holodecks we met Beverly Crusher en route and walking into the dance hall with both women on my arm, I felt like a million dollars. That was until I spotted the other Riker propping up the bar clearly waiting for us to arrive. Correction, waiting for Deanna to arrive when I saw his nostrils flare with unabashed desire.

I had hoped that he wouldn't come. I had hoped that he would feel uncomfortable enough to stay away. But then why would he? I wouldn't have, no way. I'd never have missed out on the chance of a bird-pulling session no more than he would have and as I unconsciously pulled Deanna closer to my side, my eyes reluctantly met his over the top of her head and I saw him nod slightly, acknowledging the silent threat that he plainly saw there.

But then as those same eyes dropped to look at the woman in my arms, a cold inner shudder of dread washed over me and it slowly dawned on me, that tonight could be the night when everything that could go wrong, would. The night that, given a smidgen of a chance, the other Riker would steal Deanna away from me. Belatedly, I realised that coming to the dance was possibly the worst thing we could have done and as Deanna pulled me onto the dance floor and began to move, I had absolutely no choice but to hope and pray that he would stay away from her.

But instinctively, I knew that he wouldn't, because he couldn't.

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