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[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
Roots & Branches: Stolen Moment
She had lingered in her own bedroom since retiring for the evening, leaning over the railings of her balcony as she looked out into the lavender fields. But, she had quickly realized that she hated being in her room by herself. So, the researcher had grabbed her white silk robe, covered herself up, and released the locking mechanism to the hidden door that led to the servant corridors.
He stood at the large window overlooking the expanse of lavender fields. Gideon stepped aside to push open the double doors leading to the small balcony. His eyes closed as the overwhelming aroma and let his hands fall to his sides. The Bajoran mix had already taken the time to investigate the suite he’d been assigned. Since then he’d enjoyed the view to the rows upon rows of lavender. Even in the winter months, the calming scent filled the air. He recalled fondly the stories Marielle told of the countless hours she spent laying in the petite purple blossoms.
Silently, she padded barefoot down the servant stairs behind the wall. It wasn’t that late, but she was sure the house had retired for the evening. It had been an awkward first day, and all Marielle wanted to do was have a moment’s peace with Gideon. Thankfully, a large estate meant most of the rooms were empty unless they were dealing with multiple guests so slipping down to the room below and then over was going to be fairly easy. She handled the maze behind the walls easily, and she knocked lightly on the hidden door that opened into Gideon’s room. Quietly, she turned the handle and pushed the door ajar. “Gideon?” she called out softly, her head peeking into his room.
He turned, surprised as Marielle appeared. Smiling wide, Gideon glanced quickly at the door, glad it was closed, and then jogged to the hidden door, pulling the diminutive woman out of the false wall. “El,” he breathed quietly, holding her in a brief hug. “How did you get here?” He was bare from the waist up, grey lounge pants loose on his hips.
The elation on his face at seeing her just made her heart swell. The researcher grinned up at him as she took a step back enough to close the hidden entrance. “Servant corridors and stairwells run throughout the house,” she explained. Her fingers interlaced with his as she walked deeper into his room. She glanced around, smiling at the decor. “I’m glad they gave you the pretty room. This one isn’t as lavish as the other guest rooms.” It was a funny thing to say considering the decor. She turned to the balcony and released his hand as she approached it and leaned over the railing. “And it has the second best view.”
Gideon followed her closely, quickly reclaiming her fingers in his own as his free hand slid over her shoulders. “I suppose your room has the best view?” he challenged quietly. He hadn’t yet been able to compute the joy he felt at seeing Marielle after their parting earlier in the evening.
She chuckled softly and nodded. “Of course.” She leaned over the railing and turned her head to the right, bringing their joined hands up as she pointed to the balcony on the floor above and a small distance over. “I see the entire field from up there, and a good distance over the treeline. Not to mention the gardens.”
His fingers trailed down her bare arm, eyes finding hers after looking for her balcony. “I don’t know,” he muttered. “I think I have the best view by far.” Gideon’s lopsided smile widened as he pulled her against him.
She felt her heart skip a beat, as it often did whenever he pulled her close. Her face warmed with a blush and she giggled softly at him. “That was a very nice cheesy line, Gideon,” she teased. Her heels lifted off the ground, and she pushed herself onto her toes to kiss him lightly on the cheek. “You always know how to make my heart stutter. It’s a bit unfair I can’t do the same for you.”
Inhaling softly at the butterfly kiss, Gideon smiled. “But you do, El.” He’d swayed softly with her in his arms. “Every time you smile, when you laugh.” He chuckled softly, glancing out at the lavender fields briefly before returning his gaze to the researcher. “Would you prefer I let my knees get wobbly when it happens?” He winked.
She laughed softly, mostly because she didn’t want her voice to carry. “You’re ridiculous sometimes.” Marielle took a small step closer to him, her head burying into his chest. “You were amazing tonight,” she finally managed after a long moment of silence. Her tone was laced with an apology she was yet to utter. She wasn’t entirely sure how she’d make it up to him, but words couldn’t even begin to express her appreciation for his patience.
One hand remained on her shoulder, the fingers of his free hand brushing her hair. Gideon was sure she would hear his heartbeat, quickened in her presence. “Shhh,” he soothed. “Playing a part,” the half-Bajoran whispered. “Right?” He rubbed her shoulder gently.
Marielle nodded. “Yeah,” she looked back out into the fields, taking in a deep breath so that the fragrance could calm her. “I’ve got lessons in the morning, but I’ll be free after lunch and until dinner. Renard said he’d take you to visit the town. You can be yourself with him without any worry.”
His arms gently squeezed her against him. “Sounds good.” Gideon leaned down, kissing the top of her head. “Just a couple days, okay?” He smiled, hoping that Marielle could hear it in his voice since she wouldn’t be able to see it on his lips. “What does Lady Violet teach?”
She hummed in agreement, though she tensed at his question. “Etiquette,” she replied vaguely. “I’m in need of a refresher course.” The researcher pulled away as if doing so would physically put an end to her own annoyance over her upcoming morning. Her hands clasped behind her back as she moved from the balcony and back into Gideon’s bedroom. She took a moment to look around. “I always did like this room. I’m not as worried about breaking anything.” Marielle chuckled at the thought.
Gideon dropped his chin, trying not to frown at Marielle’s withdrawal. He followed her into the bedroom, blue eyes scanning the less ornate but no less beautiful decor in his suite. The half-Bajoran grinned as he stood next to her. “How’s the bed? Firm?” A wicked grin threatened his features, but he raised a brow to keep his facade stone-like.
Marielle shrugged as she made her way to Gideon’s door and pressed the locking mechanism. She turned, leaning against the door as she looked at him. “I wouldn’t know,” she lied. “Haven’t you tried it? It was the first thing I did when I got to my room. Just took a flying leap onto the mattress.”
He leaned forward slightly, shoulders pulling back as he crossed his arms over his bare chest. Gideon shook his head nonchalantly as he took a couple steps toward the bed. “I haven’t, it looks empty.” The Betazoid mix turned to face her, hips falling back slightly to lean against the mattress. His gaze shifted to the luxurious comforter.
She pushed off the door and took a few steps so she could take a look at the bed. “Huh. So it does,” she grumbled in feigned disappointment. Marielle sauntered to the bed, stopping when her knees touched the edge of the mattress as her hand rested on her waist as her hip jutted out in one direction. “Some hosts we turned out to be. We didn’t even give you a mint on your pillow.”
“I think you should fix that,” Gideon stated, his voice dropping to a soft baritone. He looked down at the diminutive woman, slowly wandering in her direction. His arms loosened, one dropping to his side while the other reached to caress the back of his fingers along the soft curve of her cheek.
She had already been in the process of undoing the knot of her sash as he made his way to her. “It would only be right of me to amend our mistake,” she replied softly as her head tilted to the side towards his caress. The robe fell to the ground, leaving her in the long white lace and silk nightgown. She gave him a coy smile as she turned until her back was to the edge of the high bed. Lifting the nightgown a touch, Marielle stepped onto the bed’s sideboard and sat on the edge. Slowly, she scooted back as she smiled knowingly at Gideon.
He followed her, his body lowering gently on top of hers. Gideon’s lips found hers, stealing a kiss before he whispered. “Be my mint.” His hands wandered as his hips pressed against hers, lips whispering in her ear insistently. “My very quiet mint.”
Her eyes closed as her breath stilled in her lungs. She felt the usual stirrings in her stomach, the flurry of butterflies and the electrifying shudder that moved up her spine. The engineer did her best to hide her reaction, but it was hard to do when her body reacted so quickly and so willingly to his advances. She giggled softly, “That’s got to be the worst line you’ve ever said to me, Gideon.” Marielle scooted back until she reached the head of the bed, feet slipping under the summer covers.
“No way,” he countered quietly, raising his head to look at her as she crawled from underneath him. Gideon pushed up onto all fours and walked toward her, flopping onto his side next to the physicist. He rested one elbow on the pillows, propping his head in his palm as his fingers traced the lace trim on her nightgown.
She tried to ignore his gentle touch. “Yes way,” she insisted softly. A wide grin made her face glow with devilish amusement. “Besides, you eat mints. I’m not going anywhere near your mouth tonight.”
Gideon gasped in shock, jaw fallen open and eyebrows raised high in surprise. “Whaaaat?” he drew out the vowel.
Marielle giggled as she pulled the arm that propped his head on its palm. She leaned over and whispered near his ear. “Stop fooling around, and come to bed. I’ve missed you all day, and all I want is your arms around me.”
Scoffing gently, he shook his head and adjusted to pull the covers. Humming, Gideon snuggled close, his arms enclosing around Marielle as his leg draped over hers. He whispered into her ear, “Let the record show that I have never refused you.”
She chuckled as she tilted her chin back to look at him, her own arm draped over his middle as her legs entwined with his. “Do I dare challenge such a claim?” Her head dipped back down to nestle under his chin, her breath ghosting over his bare chest. Her fingernails mindlessly drew lazy circles along his spine.
“I think you should,” he suggested. “And then when you’re wrong, you can give me my mint.” Gideon nodded between shivers and twitches when her nails touched a specifically sensitive spot. His leg shifted up and down over her thigh, caressing her smooth skin with his calf.
“Mmm,” she hummed in thought as she considered it. A wicked grin moved through her features before she tilted her chin back so she could once again look at him. By the time green eyes met blue, her expression had turned curious and innocent. “So. If you refuse my request, I win?”
His expression dropped as he realized the paradox he was about to step into. Gideon blinked and tried to keep from smirking. “Well,” he stuttered, reaching for something, anything to talk his way out of this one. “I haven’t ever refused you until this point.” He raised a brow, grinning cautiously. “I hadn’t intended on starting.” He bit his lip as he watched Marielle.
Marielle hummed as her body pressed against his. “And you’ve made that statement already,” she whispered against his neck, the hand on his back sliding over his flesh to draw lazy lines over his stomach. “But, you believed I should challenge such a claim so you can earn your mint. I just wanted to be clear that if you refuse my claim, my challenge as it were, then I’m technically considered the winner.” There was a pause. “And you, wouldn’t get your mint as a result.”
The circles were endless. “But,” he started. “I wouldn’t be refusing you?” Gideon was trying, grasping at thin air. His muscles tensed with her caress. He raised his other brow, waiting for Marielle to flip the argument on him again.
With a quick move, she slid over him until she was on top of him. Marielle locked her elbows as she looked into his eyes, long hair cascading over her shoulders in waves. “Sigmund Freud says that we are our desires,” she smiled innocently. “According to him, our desires are what make us who we are. That desires drive choice, actions, thoughts. Essentially, all aspects of the self.” She made a show of shrugging. “If you were to follow that line of thinking, my request - my desires - are me. To refute would be a refusal of me.” It was hard not to smile. She rather loved these sort of games and was always pleased whenever Gideon chose to play.
He watched her, the cogs of his brain working to accurately digest her representation of Freud’s philosophy. Gideon lifted his hands to rest on her thighs, puffing gently to disrupt a tendril of hair from tickling his nose. Finally smiling, he dipped his chin in a nod. “I refuse to refuse you. I withdraw my suggestion but respectfully request your consideration in granting me a frakking mint.” He winked, smirking playfully.
Marielle stared down at him and just blinked, completely silenced. That had not gone how she had thought it would, and it completely squashed her impish plans. Her eye twitched. “Did you,” her head tilted to the side, “did you just-” It was hard not to grin. “I- I’m pretty sure you used a reification fallacy with a hint of direct reference theory on me.” Her eye twitched again, this time in amusement. “And, I’m pretty sure we’d continue the argument ad nauseam.”
Gideon chuckled softly. “Another couple years sucking the smarts from your brain and maybe I could agree with an inkling of what you just said.” He shook his head, still smirking. “So for now I’ll just nod,” he nodded. “And say, ‘of course I did.’”
The researcher grinned. “Does this mean I win?”
“Yes,” he acquiesced, and she giggled softly with absolute joy. “Because otherwise I’d be refusing you.” Gideon winked, chuckling still. He raised his arms to rest his hands on either side of his head in surrender. “You win.”
She leaned down and kissed him quickly. “Yay!” she cheered quietly. Her hips wiggled as she began sliding down on his body. “I win! I get to collect my mint!”