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Chapter Six

Sara Carson rested her head on Rebecca Sullivan’s right shoulder while clasping her right hand on Rebecca’s left shoulder. Rebecca stroked moist locks of Sara’s hair with each of her fingers and caressed her palms on the edge of her bare shoulder and upper arm. They stared into each other’s eyes in a long moment of silent bliss, where time just seemed to slow to a crawl. For now, there was nothing to be said. They just wanted to hold each other close and savor this moment for as long as it lasted.

Sara’s lips softly touched Rebecca’s upper lip and moved along her right cheek. Rebecca smiled contentedly and pursed her lips on Sara’s forehead. Sara gave a soft blissful moan while caressing Rebecca’s shoulder and neck. She rolled over and fidgeted with the edge of the blanket covering her up to her shoulder, breathing slowly while her heart continued beating at a fast pace.

She looked at Rebecca’s smiling face with a question on the tip of her tongue, which couldn’t come out. Rebecca soon sensed something was on Sara’s mind and stroked her hair hoping to ease the tension in her eyes.

“Not that this is usually something to be discussing right after we just made love,” Sara said, recalling a similar discussion with Mandel almost a year and a half ago, “but what exactly are we?”

“I’m not that sure,” Rebecca replied sheepishly. “Do we really need to define our relationship right now?”

“No,” Sara deadpanned, clasping Rebecca’s left wrist. “I don’t want to make the same mistake of prematurely assuming too much. I know you don’t exactly want to jump into anything quite yet…”

Rebecca arched her head slightly to face Sara and stroked her cheek with the back of her hand. “Let’s not dwell on our past relationships…” She kissed Sara’s cheek, the side of her nose, and up to her forehead. “…or even about the future. Live for the present.”

Sara clasped the hand on her cheek and smiled. “See where it takes us.”

Rebecca returned the smile and pressed her lips against Sara’s. They kissed and wrapped their arms around the other’s shoulders, rolling over slowly across the bed.

###

Mandel Morrison paced down the corridor with a sense of subdued concern on his face. His steps became smaller and smaller as he got closer to the door to Lisa Neeley’s quarters. Lisa was very well known for her punctuality in the last year; something he knew all too well from the last time they had been physically intimate. That made her absence from today’s battle drill rather perplexing, if not deeply alarming.

He kept telling himself that he was showing concern for the head of the Starfleet Marines stationed on this ship. That was a legitimate reason to stop by her quarters. But as he got closer to the door, he was again wondering whether or not he was falling in love with her. They both agreed that their relationship would be limited to sexual liaisons without all the obligations of a romantic partnership. Maybe, he now wanted that with Lisa. Or maybe he was trying to atone for having struck out with Sara.

He tapped the door chime, but no one answered. “Lisa,” he called, tapping the chime a second time. No one answered, even though the computer said she was in her quarters. Mandel started to assume the worst when he entered his security authorization to unseal the door. He stepped inside, looking to his right towards the bedroom under the assumption that she might have fallen into a coma while she slept. Then, in the corner of his eye, he saw two humanoid figures on the sofa, one on top of the other.

In nothing but her undergarments, Lisa Neeley had her back turned to the door breathing in ecstatic pleasure as she felt a man’s chin glide down her neck. The man she was on top of rolled over on top of her. Mandel recognized the man’s face as belonging to Sam Bowers.

His eyes widened in horror at having seen the two of them in similar states of undress in a lurid and passionate embrace. Lisa’s eyes momentarily opened with a similarly horrified expression at seeing Morrison burst in on a private moment while Sam was caressing her shoulders slowly trying to slip off the straps of her bra. He turned around in response to Lisa’s gasp and flashed a disapproving stare in Morrison’s direction.

Time had seemed to come to a dead stop, as if Morrison would have bolted out of there in less than a second. Maybe it was a shock or a sense of powerlessness. But once both Sam and Lisa were looking in his direction, Morrison took a few steps backwards and scurried out of the room at warp speed wanting to simply run and hide.



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