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[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
Music Database on Shuffle: Starfish and Coffee, Part 2
Maple syrup and jam
Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine
And a side order of ham
If you set your mind free, baby
Maybe you'd understand
Starfish and coffee
Meanwhile, Gideon moaned softly as sleep drifted away from him, curling slightly into himself as he expected to have a warm body next to him to snuggle against. When his chin turned downward, nose buried into the pillow as he inhaled, he realized that she was gone. With a sharp grunt his eyes flew open and he bolted upright, searching quickly around the loft as he panicked. “El,” he whispered, panting harshly before squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head. ‘She’s out for a jog, that’s all.’ Gideon blew a breath through his lips, his gaze moving to the collection of shoes she’d brought along, and finding her sneakers still lined up. Groaning to himself, the security chief quickly threw the covers off and slid out of bed.
He wondered if he could inspire her the same sort of sensuality from her. Adam placed his coffee mug on the table. His hand reached out, his fingers lightly brushing back the loose strand of curled hair that hung by her face. He let his touch linger on her cheek in the action, and he felt his heart stutter at the feeling of her skin under his fingertips. “I was just thinking,” he started softly as his gaze watched how her hair twirled behind her ear, “I’ve really missed you.”
Her skin flushed in response, her cheeks growing pink. Vibrant hues lifted to study his eyes. Her lips pulled into a serene smile as she stared at the crystal clear cerulean irises that were contained in a thin ring of midnight. She counted the flecks of hazel - the three in his right and the two in his left - that broke away from the hazel edging that surrounded his pupils. Her first thought, after silently counting the flecks as she always did, was that his blue were not as rich and striking as Gideon’s, which she believed to be the epitome of blue. “I’ve missed you too,” she replied softly in kind. Still, she leaned back just slightly from his touch finally.
“It’s nice having this quiet moment with you,” Adam continued softly as his eyes searched her face. “I was really hoping to get one yesterday.” His hand dropped and he offered her a sad smile.
“Yesterday was a bit nutty,” she admitted. “Gideon and I didn’t expect to have anyone here, to be honest. We thought we’d have the entire place to ourselves.”
The medical officer chuckled softly. “I didn’t realize you were the type.” He took a drink of his coffee, his eyes never once leaving hers as he grinned behind his mug.
“Ah- Well-,” she stammered, her cheeks instantly turning bright pink. Marielle blinked as Adam chortled into his copper mug. “That was mean,” she laughed brightly as she kicked him lightly under the table.
After a quick sweep of the cabin, Gideon had cleaned up and dressed before heading out, his elongated strides carrying him through the forest along the path, over the creek, following it to the manor. He trusted Marielle, or, he believed that he did. Frowning at the thought, he shook his head and shifted his subconscious to Adam. Adam he did not trust. Not because they were former husband and wife, or even just former lovers. Not because they were still friends. But because he still looked at her that way. The security chief slid his hands into his pockets, clenching his fingers into fists as he mumbled at the idea of the suddenly amorous Marielle not getting enough of him and moving on to satisfy herself with Adam. ‘What the Hell has gotten into her?’ he asked himself.
He smiled as her laughter that filled the kitchen. “So.” Adam naturally leaned into the confines of her personal bubble. “Is this the guy?” He smiled when confusion swept over her face. “The one you mentioned when we met up in San Francisco?”
Nodding while she sipped her coffee, the researcher straightened to allow her propped elbow to slide back. Her forearm rested on the aged wood of the table, the mug between her hands. Her fingers lightly brushed over the hammered copper surface, and she simply enjoyed the texture under her fingertips. Her hands and drink were only a few centimeters from his, and her eyes lingered over the short distance between the knuckles of their fingers. Marielle didn’t quite know what to say, so she simply remained silent.
Taking a steadying breath, Gideon reached out and gently opened the side door into the manor, stealing inside quietly as he listened for voices. The dining room and the kitchen were his two first choices for finding Marielle and they adjoined, so he set off in their direction. His gaze wandered the quaint manor as he slid his hand into his pocket again. As he approached the dining room, he heard the two of them talking further on and his gaze dropped to the floor. Gideon continued quietly, carefully guarding his thoughts against the Betazoid medical officer, moving past the dining area to the doorway of the kitchen, where he leaned against the wall with his shoulder, peering inside. His chin dropped as he considered simply barging in, or staying in place and eavesdropping. It would be considered rude, and look at where it had gotten him by overlooking the meeting the previous morning with Marielle’s father and Auden. Their backs were to him as he rested his temple against the door jamb.
“He seems nice.” Adam mused with a small grin. It was possibly the weakest thing he could have offered in terms of an opinion. The simple offering lacking of any real depth. It was the civil thing one said when one simply didn’t know or didn’t want to say anything.
A tranquil smile and faint blush made her face glow as she considered the security officer still slumbering at the cottage. “He is,” she agreed softly. “A lot has happened since you and I met up that night.” Her dinner with Adam at their old favourite café had been pleasant and a much needed distraction. The evening had been much like their other meetings - easy, natural, and heavy with unsaid sentiments. “I actually saw him after we talked about what we- He was walking with his team - you know, the ones we mentioned yesterday? They were looking for food. All of us ended up having dinner at Little Bird.” Marielle paused as she recalled the evening, how easily she had been able to interact with the security chief. Their friendship had been so strange in that moment in lives, Malahakir still relatively fresh.
“Oh yeah?” Adam considered the timing. He could have met the security chief that night. He would have been able to find out exactly what about the man had earned Marielle’s attention. The medical officer was still trying to size up his former wife’s current boyfriend. Salieri didn’t appear overly intelligent, but then again, it would have been difficult for the theorist by his side to find anyone who could rival her brilliance. As far as he could tell, Marielle’s boyfriend was simply easy on the eyes. “You’ve been dating six months?” He watched as she nodded in confirmation. “That’s a long time for you.”
Her foot jutted out without thought, the side of her foot making contact with his shin instantly in a light kick. “That’s not nice. I’ve had long term boyfriends.” She chided him with a smile that made her features glow.
“I don’t count,” he mused easily, a teasing smile lighting his eyes impishly. “I’m your ex-husband, so that puts me in a different category.” The easy and warm laugh that bubbled from the depths of her being had Adam smiling brightly in response. A friendly silence filled the space again as they sipped their coffee, and he found contentment in simply being next to the engineer. “You know,” the blond started softly as he steered the conversation in hopes of eliciting the same characteristics that Salieri seemed to inspire out of the diminutive woman. The tone of his voice had taken on a more appealing and fruity quality, the baritone becoming subtly deep and strong. “That night? I still think we should have ordered in- I’m sad we cut our evening short.”
‘She slept with him.’ It took everything in him not to scoff aloud as he raised his eyes to the ceiling. She hadn’t been seeing him then, but he’d given up his lifestyle for her. ‘Why would I expect her to do the same. Well- Now this bugs me even more. Why the Hell for? She’s done with me.’ Gideon wished that he could see them. It would be a lot easier to read them if he could see their expressions, too. The Betazoid mix could tell that Marielle had reverted to more of her normal self, not the shell he’d been getting the past thirty-six hours. His chin dropped to his chest as Gideon closed his eyes, listening still. And then this Adam guy. The security chief had to bite his tongue to keep from grumbling out loud.
“Yeah?” she croaked out, finding her voice suddenly caught in her throat. Marielle straightened as her hands pulled her coffee mug towards herself. She lifted the copper mug to her lips, taking a sip to hide behind her beverage. The laughter that tumbled from her was soft and a touch awkward. Her cheeks flared up even more, her face nearly red.
Adam nodded as he watched her carefully. “I-,” he paused as he considered what he was attempting to do but curiosity had him pushing forward. “I still think about Starbase 83.” His own eyes dipped to his coffee as he leaned back slightly, pulling his mug of coffee towards himself and taking a sip. “You know. When you were supposed to go that wedding for your doctor.” His heart beat furiously in his chest.
Her breath turned ragged as she recalled the dinner they had shared and how they had so quickly ended in her quarters in a tangled mess of sheets. It seemed to happen every time. Her eyes fluttered shut, her chin dipping and turning away from him slightly. “Uh. Yeah,” she whispered softly. The heat that swept through her didn’t last long. “We- Yeah. That was a good wedding.” Marielle stared into the nearly empty mug of coffee that she held to her chest like a shield. “A lot has happened since that night,” she uttered softly. “I don’t think that’s going to happen anymore Adam- It really shouldn’t have happened then. It- It’s not fair to- And, I’m with Gideon now.” She shook her head. “So- Please don’t.”
He watched her closely with sadness. Not for the first time, Adam had wished that he had reached out to her whenever he thought of her. It had been a chance he had missed. It seemed as if he had so many of those moments throughout their relationship.
Gideon wondered quietly how much longer he should stand back. ‘Twice, she did it twice. We weren’t together then. He could easily pull her back-’ His inner thoughts were cut off by a frustrated shout. He glanced toward the wing of the manor where the soon to be married couple was staying to make sure that he wouldn’t be found by them. It was hard to listen to them fumbling with each other, much like he had done with Marielle after Atlantis and Malahakir. He reached up and crossed his arms, sighing softly to himself as he shivered.
Marielle placed her mug on the table, her hands finding herself on her lap. Her eyes lifting to meet his gaze. “How is Vanessa?” Despite the odd tension that had formed between them, her voice was bright and accepting. Despite their friendship having an odd combination of being easy and confusing, it had never been difficult being Adam’s best friend. Warmth radiated from her easily. “I think you’re a year from tying the knot, right?”
His eyelids fell closed as they moved beyond anything substantial. Gideon pushed away from the door jamb and took a few quiet steps away, raising his hands to run through his hair as he took in a deep breath and psyched himself up. ‘It shouldn’t be like this,’ he lamented quietly in his thoughts before turning and making his way into the kitchen.
When Adam cleared his throat, Marielle turned to look over her shoulder. She caught Gideon’s eyes. A warm and affectionate smile just happened to make it to her lips before she tensed. Her back straightened ever so slightly and the brightness of her eyes darkened as she prepared for their day. “Salut Gédéon,” she greeted softly, his name falling off her tongue with ease. She slipped off the stool and moved easily towards him, her steps soft as the tip of her toes brushed along the floor as she walked towards him. Her hands slid over his sides and along his back, palms flat and fingers splayed as Marielle pressed into him. Her heels lifted to close the distance between their heights, her head tipping back as her lips sought after his.
The security chief had smiled languidly, pleased with the first reaction from the engineer. His heart skipped a beat when she appeared to morph in front of him, though he easily suppressed a frown. ‘Why are we doing this?’ Gideon reached her, one arm sliding possessively over her shoulder, fingers caressing her bare back as he leaned into the kiss, humming softly when their lips met. “And good morning to you too,” he murmured, smiling when they parted.
She hummed softly as her fingers gripped at his shirt lightly and as her body leaned against his. “Je vais devoir m’excuser de ne pas être là quand tu êtes réveillé (I’ll have to apologise for not being there when you awakened),” she whispered before pressing another kiss on his lips, her tongue dusting at his bottom lips quickly before she parted.
The near instant switch from the woman he had always known and the woman who stood before him had Adam blinking. His head even subtly shook in his disbelief. His hazel-speckled eyes swept over the lines of her body, his gaze moving slowly over the span of her bare slender legs as she remained at demi-pointe to reach the taller man. “Damn,” he breathed out softly into his coffee.
“Absurdité. Je sais combien tu appréciez votre café. Je pensais que tu auriez pu aller faire un jogging, aussi. (I know how much you appreciate your coffee. I thought you could have gone for a jog, too.)” Gideon squeezed his fingers over her side, smiling complacently as he glanced toward Adam, then around the kitchen. “Breakfast?”
“I haven’t had a bite to eat yet. I’m famished,” she whispered. Her chin rested on the center of his chest as she looked up at him, her head leaning to the side. “I could make you something.”
He couldn’t help but smirk as his other hand settled on Marielle’s hip. “Tu me fais beaucoup de choses (You make me a lot of things),” he admitted, winking at her. Gideon raised a brow before leaning his chin down to kiss her again, humming softly at the overwhelming taste of coffee on her lips.
As their kiss turned to near searing quality, Adam cleared his throat in hopes of reminding the pair that he was still in the room. His focus remained on his best friend when she pulled her lips away and as she rested the side of her head against Salieri’s chest. The heat of her emotions, the near insatiable amorous hunger that radiated from her, was intoxicating but foreign. He had never known it of her, but the medical officer really wished he had. “So. Uh. Bachelor party?” he offered weakly, his voice breaking. He tore his gaze away from the engineer to settle on the security officer’s face. “I know you don’t know Randall and all, but you should join us. It’d be good to know you. You know. Vet Maddie’s guy and all.” He laughed a bit, though he inwardly winced at his choice of words. He felt like a tool, a dunce, an ass, everything for saying it.
Gideon had inhaled deeply to soothe his inner fire from the kiss, glancing toward Adam with a raised brow as he watched the Betazoid staring at Marielle. His arms had tightened possessively around her, his muscles tensing in reaction to the jealousy that flared. The security chief quickly pushed it aside and smirked, his gaze moving downward to the engineer. “Do I need vetting?” he asked. ‘Like a horse or something? What kind of comment is that.’ He bit back a chuckle as he thought of what he was really asking in the question. ‘Do you really want to be apart for that long?’
She turned her head to look up at Gideon. “I’ve known Adam and Lexie since I was five. They’re just being overprotective,” she soothed. “You should go.” Marielle slid her foot forward so she could step even closer to him. “It’ll only be for a few hours. I plan on taking Lexie tonight.” She tapped his back lightly with her finger and lifted her heels up even more as he lowered his chin, her lips ghosting on his cheek as she moved to his ear. “It’d make for a fun evening,” came her breathy whisper, “I’ll most likely taste of bourbon.”
He hummed softly as he leaned back, grinning as he nodded. “And chocolate?” he asked impishly. Gideon was already considering whether he could last the night without getting into any trouble if he had a few drinks of bourbon himself. With a quick blink and a minute shake of his head, the half-Betazoid reminded himself that Giddy was gone for a reason. ‘But man, he’d be so good tonight.’ His gaze watched the researcher for a few moments before looking over at Adam. “Make sure you write all your questions down. Can’t leave anything unspoken, hmm?” There was a smirk as he raised a brow at the medical officer.
Adam’s eyes narrowed briefly at the security officer. “Uh. Right,” he mumbled softly. The volume of his voice rose as he straightened in his seat. He watched as Gideon lifted Marielle onto one of the stools far from where she had been sitting. His gaze dipped to watch her slender legs straddle his hips as she leaned to whisper in the security officer’s ear. Not for the first time, Adam wished he was on the receiving end of her attention. “We’ll probably head out at 1630. Grab an early dinner then hit the pubs. We’re in a pretty rural part of the county so we’ll be taking a shuttle to one of the bigger towns. Bruton is already a romantic getaway locale. The manor even more so. Right, Maddie?”
“Huh?” She pulled away in the middle of her sentence. She blinked as she tried to remember what was said while she barely listened, and focus returned her her hues when she mind clicked easily. “Oh. Yeah. Yes.” She looked up at Gideon briefly before she turned her attention to the hand that he rested on the table, and she draw a small map on the back of his hand as she explained. “The Cotswolds is a collection of counties that encompasses south central England, and Somerset is just one of the six. Bruton is the closest town to the manor, but even then we’re a good thirty minutes by foot.” Her other hand was held in Gideon’s, their fingers interlaced. As she spoke, her thumb had drawn tender and affectionate circles on the inside of his wrist without her knowledge.
He rested his cheek against her temple as his gaze focused on her fingers tracing lines along the back of his hand. There was a tiny dot in the middle, marking the spot where his flesh had been pierced with a meat hook, but it was so small, Marielle hadn’t even noticed it. Gideon furrowed his brows slightly at Adam’s attempt to bring up their past to goad him, inhaling deeply against any reaction. His cobalt gaze lifted to focus on the medical officer, silently challenging him on how much he’d done for the diminutive woman.
Marielle leaned on her boyfriend’s chest, the side of her head resting on his chest, her gaze meet Adam’s. “I was thinking of taking Lexie to Bath.”
The medical officer nodded. “I was thinking the same for Randall.”
“Did we want to attempt a joint hen/stag party?” she asked the man, laughing as he shook his head furiously in disagreement. “Okay. Separate it is. But, no getting wild. I’m going to need your help tomorrow, and I won’t care if you’ve got a hangover.” Her head lifted off Gideon’s chest as she slid off the stool, glancing at the chronometer over the range. “It’s about to turn 0700. We should get moving.”
Adam’s eyes fell to the time and he nodded in agreement. “What’s on the agenda? Do you have it written down or did you commit everything to memory like always?” he asked teasingly.
“Please. This is me we’re talking about,” she replied wryly as she pulled Gideon out of the kitchen with her. Marielle rounded the corner and stopped by her best friend. “Lexie needs to be in town before 0900 to meet with the photographer and florist. Randall doesn’t need to be there until 1000 for his final tux fitting. Then, he needs to meet her at chapel to meet with the vicar by 1100. Liza and Jackson will be here around 1400.”
“Got it,” he nodded. “I’ll meet you in town at the chapel at 1100 then?”
Marielle nodded as she reached out with her free hand to pluck the strand of blond hair from his shirt, and she let the strand drop to the ground before brushing his shoulder clean. “Yeah. Now go wake the lovebirds up for me. Justin will be here any minute to make breakfast.” She pulled the security chief with her towards the archway just as the manor’s caretaker walked in with a smile.
“Wait,” Adam furrowed his brow as his eyes chased after her. “What about breakfast? Aren’t you joining us?”
“I’m going to make Gid breakfast in the cottage,” she explained without looking back at the medical officer just as her strides carried her past the archway. “Tell Lexie not to be late.”
“I love breakfast in bed,” Gideon stated with a chuckle, his fingers squeezing Marielle’s slender digits.