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[JL Deniaud/Salieri] Game Night Crasher

USS Aldrin Lounge


by First Lieutenant Marielle Deniaud & Lieutenant Gideon Salieri
[Stardate ]

Login AUTHORS’ WARNING: The story involving Marielle Deniaud and Gideon Salieri involves adult situations and themes. It is designed to be read by adults and not intended for children. Caution is advised if any of the above is offensive. WARNING TO THE WARNING: You’ve been warned.

[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
Stardate: 1703.29 [29 March, 2017]
Game Night Crasher


“She stood framed in the doorway, tall, mystic, silent, with strange wistful face and deep soul shining in her dark questioning eyes. Nigel kissed the hand that she held out, and all his faith in woman and his reverence came back to him as he looked at her.”
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [Sir Nigel]

Marielle hummed happily as she turned the silver platter and stared at the spread of food she had prepared for the security team’s weekly game evening, and she wondered if perhaps she’d gone off the deep end with the amount of food she had prepared. Hamburger sliders made with freshly baked bread, pulled pork barbeque sliders, her version of jalapeno poppers - which were really a rather ingenious way of creating hush puppies, teriyaki chicken on a stick, spinach dip mozzarella sticks, vegetable sticks, freshly squeezed vodka lemonade with vanilla. Her slender finger pointed to each option as she checked each dish off her mental list. “Oh! I forgot the dipping sauces and condiments!” she rushed back into the kitchen, where Bihraos was undoubtedly handling the vegetable crisps. It had been such a big hit with the Andorian that it became part of the menu for the mess.

Cana Graves sauntered into the lounge, her arm around Jessie Jessup’s shoulder as she laughed. Her pips had disappeared into the depths of her pocket before she had even crossed the threshold. “What’s the name of the game tonight, men?”

“Not poker,” grumbled Rico Suave as he followed the pair and was followed by the rest of the security team - give or take fifteen of the usual. “I’m already on Gamma Shift for a whole month.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t play since you’re so bad at it,” laughed Ryan Winnetka as he slapped Suave’s shoulder. “Though, if you stop playing, then we’d all be stuck with at least one stint on Gamma shift. So, maybe keep playing.” There were sounds of agreement as the security team filtered into the lounge.

Jonathan Battey eyed the table of food and glanced around. “What the hell? Is there a party going on here today and we didn’t know?” His head turned towards the kitchen. “Hey! Bilbo! Is this for us?!” he yelled out as he joined the rest of the team as they inspected the options.

The engineer pushed through the swinging door as she walked backwards. “His name is Bihraos, you nut,” she giggled softly as she carried a silver tray towards the table. “You should probably learn it seeing as he’s kind enough not to kick you out after that food fight.”

“Ellie!” The resounding cheer for the engineer filled the lounge

Gideon smiled to himself as he approached the mess hall. He’d had to stay back a few minutes to finish up on a report, and hearing the rest of his team exalting over Marielle’s presence in the lounge filled him with warmth. Blue eyes dropped to the carpet as he reached up and removed his pips, sliding them into his pocket reverently as the doors slid open.

She graced them with a dazzling smile and began explaining their food options. Marielle turned her gaze to Cana as she pointed to the lemonade. “And I’m watching you,” she warned, narrowing her eyes teasingly at the nurse. “That’s some potent lemonade. You’re the only one on final notice.”

He lifted his gaze, surveying the lounge. All the usuals were there, whose ranks now included the petite engineer, even though she didn’t show up every week. Klein had joined Huntsman at a table, opting out of their card game. Sreagon and Winnetka were stuffing their faces, already seated at the large table.

The nurse pouted. “Fine!” she grumbled. Her head tilted towards Gideon. “You’re no fun!” she belted out before turning her attention to her plate and filling it with food.

Jessup stood next to Marielle as he waited for his turn at the food. “So what’s with the surprise tonight? Didn’t expect you, let alone this.” He grinned down a t her. “Not that I’m complaining, but you know you don’t have to feed us every time.”

Suave punched Jessie in the arm. “Shuddup!” he snapped, his slider still in his mouth. He swallowed the large bite he had taken before expanding, “Ellie, you definitely have to cook every time you join us. Seeing as you’re not security, and all. It’s your in with the group.” Marielle raised her brow at the man as she pointed at Cana in question. “Her? She brings other assets.”

Cana slapped Sauve on the back of the head before walking towards the table. “Just for that, we’re playing poker,” she grumbled.

Chuckling softly, Gideon approached Marielle and the food. “What a pleasant surprise.” He slid his arm over her shoulder in a brief hug. He glanced down over the selection, inhaling the various scents and humming with delight.

Marielle smiled up at the Betazoid mix as she returned the quick hug. She shrugged. “Erik couldn’t make our usual subspace communication date” she explained as she picked up the white buffet plate and picked up a few selections. “I thought you wouldn’t mind me joining you.”

“Sorry to hear about your date, but at the same time, not sorry.” A twinkle of mirth flashed in his cobalt irises as he winked at Marielle. Gideon grinned and nodded. “I think I can speak for everyone when I say you’re welcome anytime, El.”

“As long as she brings the food!” belted Suave.

“Sure. I’ll just make sure everything’s extra spicy,” the engineer bit back hotly. She filled her cup with the vodka lemonade and headed towards Cana. Marielle hummed in thought and left her dishes to save her spot before disappearing into the kitchen only to return with a small pitcher. The engineer moved back to the table and placed the pitcher, filled with non-alcoholic vanilla lemonade, near the center of the table.

Laughing along with the rest, Gideon shook his head and picked up a plate. He loaded it up with sliders and poppers, with a couple teriyaki sticks and mozzarella bites resting on top, then walked over to the table and set it at his usual place, pleased to find Marielle seated at his left. The security officer turned and headed to the bar. Bihraos came out briefly, shook his head at Gideon and disappeared back into the kitchen after setting a frosted mug on the bartop. Blinking, Salieri took the empty mug and slowly returned to the table.

“Are we playing the usual?” Marielle asked as she took a small bite of her slider.

Cana nodded. “Yup. Omaha high-low,” she replied as she took a bite of her food.

“Hey, let’s play five card draw with Cana rules,” Jessup suggested hopefully before glancing at Marielle and taking a bite.

The engineer wiped her fingers on a napkin. “What are Cana rules?” She glanced around the table to find the men and the nurse with an odd expression on their faces.

Gideon grinned as he chuckled, settling into the seat next to Marielle, the empty mug placed on the table in front of him. “I’m not sure Marielle’s prepared for Suave’s com-”

At hearing that Gideon didn’t think she’d be ready for such rules, she straightened in her seat. “I’m game,” came the insistent interruption. She blinked at the wide eyes that stared at her. “Uh. What?” She looked at Gideon. “Did I say something wrong?”

“Mic boxers,” he finished, raising a brow toward the engineer. “No. I’m sure you’ve made everyone’s dream come true with that statement.” Gideon chuckled and picked up a teriyaki stick.

“I don’t understand-”

“Too late Ellie!” Cana cackled with gleefully as she licked her fingers. “You’ve already committed.”

“Uh. What are Cana rules?” Marielle asked again, realizing she probably should have heard them before agreeing.

“Usually involves-,” Gideon stopped as all thirteen members of the security team and Cana shushed him. He took a bite of the teriyaki chicken as he shook his head.

“What?” The engineer looked around as she tried someone to talk. “Come on. What are Cana rules?”

“Giddy!!”

The lounge froze in silence, smiles dropping instantly, as all eyes turned towards the entrance of the lounge to find Jane Annesley nearly running towards the security guard in question. The young science officer plopped into the empty seat next to Gideon and wrapped her arms around his shoulder.

He’d frozen in his chair, elbows propped on the table, a mostly finished teriyaki stick resting between his fingers, sauce on his lips. ‘Why, though?’ Gideon lifted his gaze to the ceiling, groaning as she’d wrapped her arms around him.

Annesley leaned forward and licked his lips clean of sauce as she covered his mouth with hers in a sloppy open mouth kiss. Her hand found its way to the back of his neck as she held him against his efforts to pull away. It was only when she had cleaned every bit of sauce from his mouth that she pulled away. “Oh Giddy!” she exclaimed as she stared at him with matted blue eyes. “I’ve missed you!” The young ensign scooted the chair closer to Gideon as her arms around his shoulders tightened and her head rested on his shoulder. Her eyes closed, and she missed the blatant stares of surprise and disbelief that were cast in her direction.

“What the hell?” Marielle muttered under her breath as she leaned away from Gideon. Her normal expression turned dark as she stared at the hands that were firmly pressed on his shoulder, her gaze moving to settle on the top of Annesley’s head. She watched the pair in silence, her eyes widening as she watched the science officer’s tongue from her vantage point. It had not been a pretty picture. Annoyance simmered in her stomach and she released a slow controlled breath to keep herself from pulling Annesley’s skinny fingers from Gideon. Her eyes flickered to the security officer in question, wondering why he hadn’t bothered to inform her that he was seeing someone. The thought had a strange sting moving through her chest. “Is she always like this?” she grumbled under her breath.

Ryan Winnetka settled into the empty seat next to the engineer, his plate filled with a small hill of wings and vegetables. He caught the look in Marielle’s eyes, and his own gaze flickered between the science officer and the chief of engineering. A knowing grin appeared on his lips as he picked up a carrot stick. “Yep. That’d be Jane Annesley,” Winnetka whispered to Marielle before taking a loud crunching bite from the carrot.

“Jane,” he said her name sharply, but not loudly. “Do you mind?” Gideon said pointedly, leaning away from the science officer and shrugging his shoulders to rid him of her arms. He dropped the stick onto his plate, suddenly no longer hungry. Reaching up, he wiped his sleeve across his face with a disgusted grunt. “How many times have I told you to leave me the frak alone?” he growled.

She giggled as she finally released her hug around his shoulder, but she continued to lean into him as she looked at the food on his plate. She picked up a jalapeno popper and popped it into her mouth. Annesley wrinkled her nose. “Oh ew. What is this crap?” she grumbled as she opened her mouth and let it roll off her tongue, the morsel squished from one bite.

Rico Suave shook his head as he took a bite of the hamburger slider. “Did she just insult Ellie’s food?”

Mark Huntsman nodded, his eyes sweeping over Annesley as he popped a jalapeno hush puppy popper into his mouth. “Cute face. Foul personality.” Sreagon nodded in agreement, his own mouth filled with food.

Marielle’s eye twitched at the insult. Her gaze fell to the uneaten morsel that Annesley had deposited onto Gideon’s plate. Her opinion on the science officer was dwindling by the second. “Gideon,” she started slowly, her tone was laced with disapproval and disappointment. “What is this,” she paused as her green eyes remained locked on the science officer, “charming young lady doing?” The engineer was sure to emphasize the term ‘young’. Annesley looked like a child.

Cana, Battey, Jessup, and Winnetka all shared knowing looks, and each had their own mysterious grin. Cana hid behind her mug of spiked lemonade, Battey behind a chicken wing, Jessup behind a hamburger slider, and Winnetka just swirled a carrot in the blue cheese dressing.

Pushing his plate away, Gideon glanced at Marielle, his eyes pleading with her for understanding. “Marielle, this is Ensign Jane Annesley,” he introduced them formally. Keeping his gaze on the engineer for a moment, he turned to Jane. “Jane, Marielle Deniaud.” He made a point of saying her last name precisely before shaking his head at Jane. ‘Prophets, save me.’

“Deeniaw?” Annesley asked as she straightened. Her eyes swept over Marielle quickly. There was a twitch, a fraction of a second where her eyes narrowed at the Asian woman. A quick assessment had Annesley noting that Marielle was pretty enough to garner attention. Her mouth split her face into two as she graced the engineer with a shiny white toothy grin. “I thought you were a man!”

The security team’s eyes moved to Marielle, their breaths stilling as they waited on her reaction. It had become well-known that the chief of engineering had a sharp tongue. The reputation had been earned when she was just an ensign and had problems with the late Lieutenant Peter Paul Peterson.

The engineer’s eye twitched yet again. A strained smile pulled at the corner of her lips. Her expressive green eyes remained locked on the young woman who continued to drape over the man she considered to be her best friend. “I didn’t think minors were allowed into the lounge after nine in the evening,” she said, her insult uttered with a sickly sweetness that was uncharacteristic of the engineer.

A soft wave of snickers filled the tense air. Cana, who had remained uncharacteristically quiet, broke out into laughter as she caught the not-so-veiled jab. “Oh my gods,” she could barely contain her glee. “This is going to be the best night ever!”

‘It was going to be,’ Gideon said to himself, grumbling as he rubbed his eye socket with the fat of his palm. He thought Jane had gotten the hint, especially after he went off on her several weeks ago, then again at the wedding. The Betazoid mix continued to try and push the science officer away, only to find her back at his side.

“Ellie, one. Annesley, zero,” muttered Huntsman. The Southern gentleman stared at Marielle, who remained poised in her seat as she stared at Annesley. He nudged Sreagon with his elbow. “You ever seen her like that?”

The men at Mark’s table - Sreagon, Suave, Steven Klein - all turned to look at Marielle, watching with fascination as the engineer’s demeanor was oddly cold. Her back was straight, her shoulders pulled back and down, and her chin lifted ever so slightly. Although she was a tiny woman, Marielle looked to be staring down at the science officer.

Annesley pressed her chest into Gideon’s arm as she lifted off her seat enough to press her darkly painted red lips into the security officer’s neck. “Giddy-,” she whined, her adenoidal voice vibrating through the tense air.

Gideon leaned away again, glaring up at Annesley as he hissed at her. “Do you want me to embarrass you in front of everyone? Is that what it’s gonna take to get you to back off?”

“Augh,” grumbled Sreagon softly as he wrinkled his nose. He looked at Suave. “Seriously. You picked this chick for Sal?” He only rolled his eyes when Rico shrugged apologetically.

“But, Giddy-”

“Gideon.”

“What?”

Her eyes settled on Gideon briefly. She had recalled Jane Annesley’s name from their letters, and she had spent much of the wedding watching the woman fawn over the security chief. Marielle took Gideon at his word that the science officer was a thorn in his side, but Marielle hadn’t realize just how tenacious the ensign was until that very moment. She sighed softly as her dark and cold gaze settled on the science officer. “His name,” she started slowly as her body twisted in her chair so that she faced her best friend’s body, “is Gideon.” Her palms rested flat on his shoulder blades and slid smoothly over his shoulders. The movement caused Annesley’s arms to lift and release the security officer in question.

“This is going to be good,” muttered Jessup. Again, Cana, Winnetka, Jessup, and Battey all shared a look. They hid their smiles behind their frosty mugs of spiked lemonade.

“Gédéon,” Marielle repeated in her French accent as she lifted from her chair and pressed into Gideon’s back, her knee resting lightly on the edge of his chair. The engineer draped herself protectively over the security officer, her hands sliding from his shoulders to wrap gently over his chest. “Ce n’est pas si difficile à prononcer. (It’s not that hard to pronounce.)” She pointed to her mouth as she said it once more, “Gé-dé-on.”

The tension had melted from his body at Marielle’s first touch. His eyes found the engineer as he watched her move, his arms guiding her gently as he welcomed her embrace. Gideon sighed softly as he seemed to forget that Jane was even there.

A collective groan could be heard at the sound of Marielle’s dulcet voice rolling in French. “Do it again,” Suave pleaded. Sreagon nodded eagerly beside Rico as he shifted in his chair, lowering a hand under the table.

“Giddy,” Annesley pouted. “Who is this woman?”

He shook his head as she interrupted his bliss, glancing toward Annesley. He looked at Jane with exasperation. “Marielle is-”

“I’m his girlfriend,” the engineer interrupted Gideon before he could answer. She didn’t even stutter when she uttered the words. Her eyes closed a fraction of a second as her warm lips pressed into his head in a tender kiss and she smiled in his hair as she discretely inhaled the familiar scent. He always smelt of the ocean and the forest to her. Her eyes opened, her gaze resting on Annesley’s shocked expression before she leaned to the side to stare at him. “Isn’t that right, sweetie?” she smiled at him.

Gideon’s mouth hung open for a split second before he grinned brightly, obviously grateful for the engineer in that moment as he turned his chin to face her, leaning closer. “Of course, darling.” The security officer shifted his elbow, sliding his arm behind Marielle to rest his hand on her waist. In the back of his mind, he had to remind himself that this was just a ruse, no matter how desperately he wanted it to be true.

“I win!” gasped Rico quietly, his eyes growing wide.

Sreagon punched the smaller security officer hard in the arm. “It’s a frakking joke, stupid. She’s trying to get rid of Annesley,” grumbled the Rigelian. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder as he watched Marielle’s body wrap around the security chief’s.

Cana only folded over the table as she tried desperately to stifle the roar of laughter that had her body shaking. The rest of the men just stared at Marielle, Gideon, and Annesley. Their mouths had dropped open in shock.

“What?!” Annesley stared at Marielle and Gideon. “Since when?!” Her eyes settled on the woman wrapped around the security officer.

She hummed in delight as she continued to stare into Gideon’s eyes. “Since this morning,” the engineer responded easily enough. “We’ve been natural best friends for months, and it just seemed right to take this step. Isn’t that right,” she paused as her brain tried to pick a nickname, “Honeybun?” It took all her energy not to wince at the petname. She was always so bad at them.

Cana just howled as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “Honeybun!” When eyes moved to stare at the nurse, she stifled her laughter and shrugged. “It’s just so- so beautiful!” she weakly exclaimed. “So beautiful. Their relationship is so beautiful.” She fell to one side as she buried her head into Ryan’s shoulder.

When he was sure Jane couldn’t see his expression, Gideon raised a brow toward Marielle and mouthed to her, ‘honeybun?’ Chuckling as Cana’s laughter infected him, he shook his head and then glanced at Jane. “I made her breakfast in bed.” The endless connotation in that statement was not lost on the crowd watching the exchange. He groaned softly as he felt a swell of desire when Marielle hummed in his ear in response, the tip of her nose gently brushing over his cheek. He caught her staring at Annesley intently.

“I don’t believe it!” Annesley glared at Marielle. The small Asian-French woman was all over her Gideon, peppering her man with neck kisses. “No frakking way! Just look at her! You’d pick that! She’s so- so-”

“Any day, Jane. Every day. I told you we had nothing and I tried to do it gently to save your feelings, but if you want the public embarrassment, fine.” Gideon had shooed her away with his free hand, leaning further against Marielle. “I don’t want you.”

Annesley continued to glare at the engineer. “Giddy! No! Everyone wants me!” she insisted as she stood up and stomped her foot. She pointed at the engineer. “Who the hell do you think you are! There’s a code among women, you know?! We don’t steal each other’s men!” Her hands balled into fists as she continued to glower at the engineer. “Who’d want some dwarfy stick dork like you! I bet you’re just some weird nerdy type!!”

Gideon held up a hand to stop Jane, shaking a finger at her. “Let’s get something straight, Annesley, I was never your man.”

“Oh gods,” whispered Sreagon. “Let them fight. Please let them fight.” He thought back to the fight between Cana and Marielle the previous week and shifted in his seat.

“Hey! Don’t talk about Ell-” Jessup was silenced by Battey stomping on his toes. He cried out softly and bent over the table to hide the tears welling in his eyes.

“But- Our date-! The wedding-!”

“Gédéon,” she called out to him, purposefully using the accented pronunciation of his name as she stared at Annesley. Marielle didn’t glare at the young ensign. There was only an eerily calm smile that made her face glow. “I don’t think she understands you.” The engineer made a show of sighing as she gathered her long hair to one shoulder. Her flawless green eyes met the richness of his blue as she smiled demurely at him, a flash of an apology in her eyes for what she was about to do. Her hands moved gracefully as she unwrapped herself from his back and her leg slid over his lap as she straddled him. Her hands, which never once lifted off his body, moved up the sides of his neck to bury in his hair.

“That’s just not fair,” whined Huntsman softly.

It was hard for him to keep his jaw from hanging open in shock, to play along as the engineer moved over him sensually. Gideon let his hands wander up Marielle’s sides, feeling suddenly euphoric, as if a dream was about to come true. He saw the expression in her eyes and sighed softly as he leaned forward. Immediately, he forgave her for the deception despite how much he wanted it, then begged her to kiss him.

Marielle leaned forward, her breath ghosting his skin. Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips in preparation. “Juste un baiser, Gédéon (Just one kiss),” she promised softly as she closed the distance between them. Her eyes closed as she got a taste of him, and she released a delightful soft hum as her tongue slid along the seam of his lips. He tasted just how she remembered - of chocolate and of wine. It had been months since their lips had touched - the light kiss at the wedding had been nothing more than a tease - and the memory of that moment came flooding back instantly. It was before Atlantis and before Malahakir, when life had been so much easier for them both. There was no voice warning her of moving too quickly. No hesitation as she held his head to hers as she leaned back. It just felt right. The lounge disappeared, and she couldn’t quite remember why they were kissing in the first place. Her fingers brushing along the skin behind his ears as they tangled in his hair. The rumbling groan shot straight from his lips and gave her shivers.

“No way,” Battey whispered under his breath.

“Holy crap,” Jessup muttered quietly.

“And, he’s gone,” Winnetka smirked as he watched. He looked down at Cana. “Does this count for a win?”

The nurse growled softly despite the grin on her face. “Hell no. It’s all an act for Annesley,” she whispered into his ear.

His eyes closed as his hands held her close. Lips parted and he smothered her in his kiss. Gideon would never know if this was an act on his part, but he appreciated the fervor Marielle exhibited in their kiss. Fingers caressed the length of her spine and massaged the nape of her neck, playing with the tendrils of her hair. The security officer hummed softly, recalling her taste from so long ago - chocolate and coffee, with a delicate hint of sweetness, now mingling with the flavors of lemon and vodka. Each time her tongue retreated, his followed, begging her to stay in the kiss forever.

She pulled away when the strain in her lungs could take no more. Marielle leaned her forehead against his as she attempted to catch her breath, her chest heaving. Her eyes remained closed, her ears filled with the thunderous beating of her heart. She hummed in absolute delight as she opened her eyes to look at him. Her cheeks were flushed, her kiss-swollen lips pulled into a serene smile.

Panting softly, Gideon took in a couple deep breaths to calm himself as he reminded himself that this was just a ruse. ‘But damn.’ Grinning in contentment, his hands caressed her back gently, slowly sliding down to her sides. The mess hall was unnaturally quiet, but he would have never guessed they were there. Swallowing quietly, Gideon opened his eyes and leaned forward, stealing a quick kiss from Marielle as they locked their gaze.

Her fingers pressed into her lips as if she could touch the stolen kiss itself, green eyes staring down into his blue. She offered him a small shy smile. Marielle straightened and blinked as she glanced around. The lounge was completely quiet, the security team staring at her with a strange expression on their faces. She turned to Gideon’s side to tell Annesley to leave only to find the science officer gone.

“She left ten minutes ago,” Winnetka offered, a wry grin on his face as he collected the plates and placed them on the table behind him. He watched as Cana shuffled her beloved worn cards.

Gideon flushed, his neck burning red as the heat rose all the way to the tips of his ears. His eyes darted around the lounge before glancing back at Marielle, a stupid grin on his face as he chuckled with embarrassment.

“I got rid of her for you,” she laughed awkwardly, her finger drawing lazy circles on the back of his neck. She had yet to move from his lap.

His fingers squeezed her sides gently before drifting further down her waist as Gideon nodded. “Yeah, thanks. That was a great idea.” While her closeness and the kiss they’d shared was a source of embarrassment for him, Gideon enjoyed it just the same. He certainly wasn’t going to be the one to push her away. The Betazoid mix returned his gaze to Marielle, wondering if she knew how much she meant to him.

“Okay. Okay.” Cana snickered as Marielle squeaked. “We’re just going simple today in honour of Ellie getting rid of what was most possibly the most annoying fangirl ever.” The nurse laughed as she dealt out five cards. “How was she, hot stuff?” she asked Gideon with a sassy grin.

Marielle laughed awkwardly. She hesitated for a breath before she turned her head to force herself to break her gaze with Gideon. Slowly, she stood and slid off his lap, pleased to find his fingers resisting her. Her face was warm with her embarrassment and flushed from the delightful shivers that made her smile like an idiot. “Shut up,” she muttered as she picked up her cards. “It wasn’t that big of a deal. Pretty sure everyone kisses that way.”

“Can you teach Anya?” Battey asked suddenly.

“Exactly how am I going to teach your wife, Jonathan?” Marielle mused, her brow raised.

Sreagon dropped his head onto the table, willing the image of Marielle and Anya Wong out of his head. “You’re killing me here,” he groaned, lifting his forehead slightly and tapping the table.

“You could just kiss me, Ellie,” Cana offered with a wide grin. She pointed to Gideon. “You pretty much shut him up. So clearly you have skills.”

“Okay. So Cana rules?” Marielle asked without looking up from her cards, hoping to get beyond the topic at hand. She wasn’t sure her face could handle anyone discussing her kissing skills at the moment.

Sreagon, Suave, Jessup, and Huntsman all sat up in their seats. “Yes!” they cheered softly as they left their table and joined the main one.

“High hand wins the pot, low hand takes off a piece of clothing,” Winnetka explained, a wry grin on his features.

Marielle shrugged as she grabbed Gideon’s empty frosted mug and poured the non-alcoholic vanilla-infused lemonade into the frosted mug. “I’m an engineer. Did you people forget poker’s all about math?”

Sreagon grumbled. “There’s reasons we’re Security officers, Ellie. Math is one of them.”

Winnetka, Battey, Jessup, and Cana threw their cards down. “We’re out.”

Suavé glanced around. “What? Why?” He shrugged as he looked at his cards.

Winking at Marielle as he sipped from the mug, Gideon nodded in appreciation of the lemonade. “I’m all in,” he said finally with a heavy chuckle.





Copyright 2017. All works involving Mariëlle A. Deniaud and Gideon M. Salieri, including character biographies and published stories, are the property of the United Space Federation and its author. It cannot be reproduced, imitated, and copied without written permission from the authors. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction using aspects of the Star Trek universe as created and copyrighted/trademarked by Gene Roddenberry, Paramount, and their affiliates.
   
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