Now what is so important that you have to bring me all the way to the holo-deck Will?
He knew Deanna loved surprises, it was the little girl in her, they walked through he doorway and the room was dull dark and empty. Filled only with black and yellow grid lines. Will, what's going on? she asked, her voice sounded suddenly suspicious. But her suspicion was soon replaced by shock, when in an instant later the room lit up as hundreds of voices yelled in unison, SURPRISE!!!
The next thing she knew, she was surrounded by people kissing her on the cheek and patting her on the back, sending her best wishes, even Data came by and pecked her with a mechanical kiss on each side of her face, attempting to mimic the others.
Finally it was Rikers turn, their eyes met and held, Happy birthday, Deanna. He stated in a low voice and then kissed her on the cheek.
When did you do all this? Why did you do all this? She was amazed. The room was decorated with balloons and streamers, an elaborate cake was place on a decorated table in the center of the room, along with a smorgasbord of all of her favorite foods, a band was playing and there was even an Olympic size pool in which to take a dip in.
Because youre worth it, Deanna. He explained, No one deserves this more than you.
Deanna Troi was perhaps the nicest person on the ship; she was nice to everyone, even those that the senior staff didnt even know. And it was a known fact that all of the senior staff was crazy about her.
Riker put an arm around her shoulder and walked her towards the buffet table. Ive tried to remember all of your favorite foods. He told her, and was relieved when she smiled and told him that he did wonderful.
This is so special. She said amazed at the turn out of people. He had planned this for three months, Beverly had helped along with the rest of the crew, and it seemed as if the whole ship had pitched in willingly for Deanna.
Youre special. He whispered, as he wiped a lone tear off of her cheek with the pad of his thumb. And I wanted to do something special for you.
She reached up silently and put her arms around his neck, as she kissed him lightly on the lips. The kiss started out friendly enough but ended up in a kiss of passion, both lost in the moment as their two tongues began to dance with each other. It was the sound of the crowd cheering that broke the kiss, leaving both officers blushing.
Everyone had a good time. And no one saw the Captain make his exit after the cake was servedBeverly left around ten hundred hours and the rest of the guest stayed until almost midnight.
She was exhausted by the time all of them left, but she wanted to stay and talk to Will and thank him again. He was sitting by the pool drinking a golden colored drink, when she approached him. He looked up and smiled.
I suddenly dont know what to say. She told him, It was just beautifulthe most beautiful night of my life. They both knew that she would cherish this occasion for the rest of her life.
I wanted to do something special for you.
That, you did.
Youve done a lot for me too, you know.
No, Will I havent done anything.
Yes, you have. He whispered, he had no idea of how to tell her exactly what she meant to him, there was no way he could put it into words, so he decided to change the subject. I guess we kind of shocked everyone with that kiss. He stated with a nervous chuckle.
I guess we did. She returned the smile, she looked away briefly and Riker could have sworn he saw the color rise in her cheeks. She sat down on the edge of the pool, allowing her feet dangle in the warm water. How can I ever repay you for doing this?
Riker got up from his chair and sat down beside her, he caressed her cheek with the back of his knuckle, her face was a soft and smooth as a babys bottom, as he opened his hand and began to touch the side of her face. He then buried his hand in the soft black curls of her hair. He leaned forward and whispered into her ear, "Does this mean you'll forever be in my debt?" gently kissing her ear lobe. Sending shivers down her spine.
Deanna immediately sensed his erotic thoughts, she let out a gasp, not only at his thoughts but at the way he was making her feel, she pulled back from him and rolled her eyes, William Riker do you ever think of anything else?
Nope. he answered simply, and before she could react his lips captured hers, and she was lost. He arms seemed to have a mind of their own as they instinctively wrapped around his neck, and her body went limp against his. Her head moved back and his followed, the cold hot tip of his tongue on hers sent shivers down her spine. When the kiss broke his eyes slowly opened, her lips still wet from the kiss, she slowly opened her eyes, and he was grinning at her, an elfish grin. Her breathing was uneven and her body was trembling from the kiss.
She realized that she had just surrendered her whole body to him. Damn him, how does he do this, she thought? Why does this mans touch have such power?
You think Im going to finally give in and sleep with you dont you? she asked, her eyes suddenly full of challenge.
He let out a chuckle, Most definitely. He whispered as he began to plant a trail of soft kisses down her neck.
She placed both hands firmly on his shoulders and pressed him onto his back, Oh what the hell. She stated this time her mouth sought his. He wasnt prepared for the force of her passion. She clung to him; her mouth seemed to want to take the life out of him as her tongue demanded his attention and he gave it to her, he gave her all she wanted. And when his body entered hers, he knew that she was the one who truly had him, she held his heart, and his soul more captive more than any chains ever could.
Exhausted, and their bodies spent. They fell as they were, their leg tangled and their bodies wrapped together.
That was . . .
Me too. Riker whispered, as he ran a hand through her thick curls. Hey, whats this? he asked, Tears?
He positioned their body so that he could look into her eyes, Liar. He said flatly. He searched her face with his blue eyes, Whats wrong, Deanna?
She didnt answer, her eyes moved away from him.
Theres a dark cloud hanging over us, there always has been. Even the Baku incident couldnt make it go away, if anythings it opened up new wounds. What can I do to make up for what I did on Risa? Some times I feel as if thats a debt I can never repay. When will you start to trust me as a lover, instead of a friend? When will you totally open up to me?
Deanna sat up abruptly, When you can commit only to me. She stated, as fiercely as she was able, but Riker was quick to notice the pain in her voice.
She began to scramble for her clothing, he raised himself up on an elbow and watched her dress.
After a few silent moments, he stood to his feet and began to get dressed himself, he stepped into his pants and then found his tunic and pulled it over his head, he watched her as she arranged her hair and then stated with a great confidence, Consider it done.
She looked at him and wanted to laugh. Did he actually know what she was asking of him? Did he actually know what he was saying? She wanted to be first in his life, not his career, not the ship; she couldnt be anything less than that. She had spent too many years second to his career, and she wasnt sure she wanted to experience that kind of hurt again. You dont know what your saying. Youre only trying to pacify me.
Pacify? He asked, Deanna if I wanted to pacify you, Id offer you chocolate.
"Oh, please." she said with a roll of her eyes.
I love you. He said as he offered her his hand. She stood and glanced at his face and then his hand and then back to his face again, I love you, Deanna. He repeated with more emotion than he had intended, his blue eyes staring at her in an intense way, You've been number one in my life in more ways than I could even begin to describe. I want you to walk beside me, hand in hand. Not as Commander and Counselor, not as human and Betazoid, not even as man and woman--but as husband and wife. He looked at her and then whispered, "Will you give me your hand?"
She didnt answer, she didn't think, she leaped at him, her arms going about his neck, her feet off the floor.
Riker didnt say a word, he laughed and began kissing every inch of soft skin on her face. He stepped backward, carrying her, and they both fell into the pool. Even as they fell his lips never left hers.
When they stood the water only came to Rikers shoulders, he grabbed Deanna and brought her body to his, she clung onto him and began to kiss is wet beard and face.
Their joy was short lived.
They both turned their heads slowly at the sound of a dog growling, standing at the edge of the pool, was perhaps one of the biggest, strongest, meanest looking canines that Riker had ever seen. The animal was magnificent looking, with brood muscular shoulders, that connected to a huge square head, rich black slick fur, that bristled with anger, its eyes were black as midnight coal and deadly. Riker couldnt help but notice the huge white razor sharp teeth.
What the hell? Riker went on the defense and his brain began to plan a strategy, wishing like hell he had a weapon or at least his com badge. But there he stood in the middle of a swimming pool. At least, he thought, hed have more of a chance of killing the devil beast in the water; he could drown the damn thing if he had to.
A familiar voice called from far off. Pahk. Down!
Rikers head snapped towards the voice, and recognition flooded his face. He let out a deep breath and his muscles relaxed when the dogs growl ceased and the animal sat down. But his grief was soon replaced by anger. Pahk down my ass!" he yelled angrily. "What in the hell is that thing? He demanded of his approaching look alike.
Its a dog. Thomas smiled as he patted the huge beast on the head. The question is what are you doing standing in the middle of a pool, fully clothed? Thomas eyes glittered with merriment.
Deanna smiled as she came out from behind Will.
Thomas noticed Deanna and his eyes danced, they always danced when he saw her, and his dazzling smile made the young Betazoid blush. "Deanna, give me your hand."
Riker shot Thomas a sharp look.
He suddenly found himself jealous. Damn jealous.
She automatically began to swim towards his offered hand. Thomas reached down and hoisted her body out of the water, with no difficulty at all. Soon the two were in each others arms hugging one another.
Riker began to wade towards the edge of the pool. Arent you just the knight in shining Armour with your faithful dog, Spot!
Youre looking fit. She smiled, pulling away from his embrace. She couldnt help but notice in the corner of her eye the massive dog that sat and watched. Whos your friend? she asked as she reached out her hand to pet the huge dog.
I wouldnt do that. Thomas warned as he grabbed her arm. Pahk is an odd one.
With a puzzled look, she decided she had better take heed to the warning and lowered her arm, and then her voice became serious as she straightened her posture. Well then if you wont let me pet your dog, Will you tell me what youre doing here?
Yeah. Just what in the hell are you doing here? Riker asked grabbing a near by towel and found himself not only throwing Deanna a towel, but a sharp look as well.
Ignoring his irate brother, It was time to go, Cinderella. Thomas smiled as he reached down and brought her hand to his lips. Its way past midnight.
Rikers body tensed. What in the hell does that mean? Riker demanded. How did you board the ship, Thomas? The dog immediately stood at attention, picking up the threatening sound of Rikers voice, standing proudly between Thomas and his look alike. Talk Thomas! Riker took a step forward and the dog growled, in a threatening manner.
Deanna turned to Riker and saw him scowling at her, his blue eyes turned to a dark sapphire. For an instant she wondered what was done to anger him, and then nearly laughed aloud. He was jealous, and that thought gave her more of a thrill than any of Thomas kisses on her hand ever could.
Will, now isnt the time for one of your rampages." Deanna scolded softly, swallowing her smile.
Thomas demeanor suddenly changed as his eyes moved towards his brother,
there was something sad in Tom's eyes but he offered no explanation. The
Captain wants to see all senior staff in the conference room in ten minutes.
Turning to leave, he summoned the dog over his shoulder, which immediately obeyed
and walked beside his master. Thomas slowly pivoted towards the two bewildered
officers and asked, You coming or not?
Your wife! Will Riker exclaimed. His eyes widened in shock. His brother Thomas was married?
My wife. Thomas reiterated in a calm voice. Shes been taken prisoner by a group of renegades. Shes being held prisoner on Ferenginar, at the moment. He stood and the animal that was lying at his feet, immediately moved to his side.
He spoke as if he were thinking aloud. She was a gift from the king of Omnian, a reward for the my faithful service. So he gave me her as a bride, it was either marry her or insult the entire kingdom, and if I refused such a generous gift, she would have been put to death as unacceptable goods. He let out a long sigh, Since she was a maidservant, I told her we would get married and then have the marriage annulled and she was free to go back to her home world on Pacifica. I was even going to escort her back to her fathers house. He looked at his two friends and shrugged, She was happy to finally get to go home. I was happy to just get the hell out there, the plan was perfect . . .
Until you fell in love. Deanna said quietly.
He looked at Deanna and smiled, That was almost a year ago. It would seem that the King of Omnian knew exactly what I needed and I will be eternally grateful to him.
Two weeks ago the Ferengi took Tia prisoner, they kidnapped her from her fathers house on Pacifica. Thomas smiled at the memory of the wounds the huge dog had inflicted on the small ferengi warriors and knelt down beside the animal and rubbed the fur on the dogs large muscular neck. Pahk belongs to Tia; her father gave him to her three years ago as a birthday present. He wanted to have the pup trained as his daughters guardian, but there was no need. Old Pahk fell in love with her from the minute they met. He paused and smiled, rubbing the dogs black slick fur more vigorously, Pahk has proven to be faithful and very possessive of Tia, he have proven may times over that he would gladly give his life for her. He looked up and gave a slight chuckle, Sometimes I think she loves this old dog more than me.
I dont blame her. Riker stated with a hint of humor to his voice, it was his way of saying that he would help Thomas anyway he could. He knew that if someone had kidnapped Deanna, he would move heaven and hell to bring her back.
By the time I got word that their homestead had been attacked. His blue eyes flashed with anger at the memory. The renegades had murdered her father and most of the hired hands. Pahk was the only survivor . . .and they left him, thinking he was dead.
Thomas stood to his feet. The Ferengi plan on trading my wife as a slave. They think, shes of noble blood and her looks, well lets just say, shes an extraordinary looking woman, one that will no doubt bring a handsome price. The trade ship, shes to be on is scheduled to leave Ferenginar in three hours for the trade lands. Shes to be sold at midnight in two days.
Our best strategy is to go to the trade lands and purchase her. Riker stated. The traders dont take kindly to kidnapping items that are to be auctioned, as long as we keep it up and up we should be able get her back with no problem.
Ive thought of that. Thomas sighed.
We need something to trade. Deanna stated in a low voice, and then her eyes lit up with an idea. Ive still got the chest of jewelry that the Millers presented to me, when Wyatt and I were to be married.
Who? Thomas asked confused.
Dont ask. Riker stated rolling his eyes.
Thomas, I condone you for your valor and---your common sense. It took a lot for you to come here and tell us of your predicament. Picard stood to his feet. One man against an army of trades men, Im afraid youd do more damage than good.
We could intercept the trader ship, Captain. Geordi spoke up. Chances are if Toms wife is aboard that ship there has to be others there against their will as well.
Picard nodded his head in agreement. Just give us some time to clear our whereabouts with Starfleet headquarters, and well help you all we can.
Thomas nodded a thank you.
Check with Data, and give him the coordinates of the ferengi ship.
Again Thomas nodded.
With a tug of his uniform top, Dismissed.
Captain. The golden android stated from his console. I have completed my analysis of the navigational system of the ferengi ship.
You found their flight plan? Geordi asked with awe and interest.
I believe so, Geordi. The android answered with out emotion, If I have calculated correct, the ferengi vessel is headed for the Kellion Sector. At their current speed it will take them nine hours, twenty-seven minutes and fifteen seconds to reach that position.
We can make it in six. Geordi stated looking at his Captain for approval.
Picard nodded, Make it so. Set a course for the Kellion sector, warp nine. He addressed the remaining crew members, Id like the rest of you to remain---you too Mr. Riker.
After the meeting with Picard, Thomas gave a nod to the crew as he stepped onto the bridge. The dog gave a very deep bark, one that made the crew glance over at the massive animal. Thomas straightened his posture, and looked at the crew wide-eyed with raised eyebrows he shrugged, Hes happy.
Riker stepped out of the turbo lift, and the next thing he knew Deanna was knocked off balance by one hundred and eight-five pounds of dog, slamming her body back against the turbo lift walls.
Deanna! Riker spun around, and saw his Imzadi trapped between the wall and the massive hunk of canine. Call your dog off Tom!
God damn it, Pahk! Thomas cursed twirling around towards the turbo lift. Come here!
The dog obeyed and pounced with joy, standing by Thomas side. Stop playing around, or well never get her back. Thomas warned the dog. The animal seemed to understand and immediately laid down at his feet.
Riker helped Deanna stand to her feet, speaking with his eyes and she nodded that she was okay.
I think he wants to play. Deanna said to Riker as she stood rubbing what was probably a bruised shoulder.
The Ferengi ship is within transporter range, Sir. Worf informed the Captain from his station.
Open hailing frequencies. Picard stated.
Ferengi trade ship. This is Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. Please state your purpose.
I am Damon Tog of the trade ship Teboj The voice of the ferengi Damon addressed the man that stood on the bridge. What business do we have with you, Starfleet hu-man?
Thomas growled low in his throat and took a step towards the view screen. Riker caught his arm, Let Picard handle it.
Picard stated in formal tone. We meet again Damon Tog.
Jean Luc Pee-card, beloved mate of the magnificent Lwaxana Troi. The Damons eyes widened and then they narrowed. I have no quarrel with you Captain of the Enterprise. I am simply transferring cargo to the trade lands.
What in the hell is he talking about? Thomas whispered to Riker, You mean Picards the the mate of Lwaxana Troi? He asked in amazement, a half twisted smile across his face.
Riker couldnt hide his smile at the remembrance of Picard quoting Shakespeare to Lwaxana Troi.
A trade ship which carries cargo that doesnt want to be there. Picard stood erect.
We have done nothing wrong, Picard. The ferengi snarled.
Then we shouldnt have a problem. Well transport over immediately.
If you have any further questions, I suggest you can refer to the Starfleet code Article fifteen, Section thirty seven, paragraph four, sub-section two that permits Starfleet personal to conduct a random routine inspection of any or all ships in federation space. He looked at the Ferengi Damon and stated, If you protest, and then he added flatly. File a complaint. Before the startled Damon could respond, Picard gave a slashing motion across his neck and the screen immediately went black.
Number one, I want an away team aboard that ship immediately. His attention then turned to Worf, Ready weapons, and if there is any sign of trouble I want that ship disabled and my peoples out of there.
Riker nodded, towards Data.
Without warning, Thomas Riker grabbed the Captain with a strong hold around his neck, pulled out a phaser and held it to the Captains temple. Belay that order, or Ill kill you. He threatened.
Without warning, Thomas Riker pulled out a phaser and held it to the Captains temple. Belay that order, or Ill kill you. He threatened.
Surprisingly enough the dog made no effort to move, he simply lay there on the floor of the bridge, he raised massive square head and perked his ears, but made no effort to move. On screen! Thomas barked.
Tog. Thomas addressed the view screen when the image of the Damon came into focus.
What is this? What . . . but before he could finish his sentence Thomas cut him off.
Both of us know youre on a profitable mission, Damon Tog, and the last thing you want in a bunch of Star fleet monkeys searching youre ship.
What does it have to do with you human? The Damon asked suspiciously.
It has a lot to do with me now. He pressed the weapon harder against the Captains temple. Im holding a Starfleet officer at gun point. You see they plan to send me back to prison and thats just somewhere I dont want to be.
And why should I care.
I thought we could make a trade.
A trade? Riker swore he saw the Ferengi big ears perk up.
Troi, Crusher! he ordered, Over here.
Both women reluctantly stepped towards the view screen. You give me a ride to the nearest planet and in exchange you get them. Im sure these two would bring a handsome price.
You take me for a fool! He sounded appalled. These are Starfleet officers. The federation will hunt me down.
They cant hunt you down if theyre dead. With a blast of his phaser he fired and hit the Captain Square in the temple, Picard jerked and then slowly dropped to the floor. Thomas then turned the weapon on Riker and ordered, Over here, now!
Riker glared at his twin and then walked forward.
Ive just killed the Captain. As you see, Tog Ive got nothing to lose.
You wont get away with this, Thomas! Riker warned through clenched teeth.
Like hell I wont. Thomas tone was sarcastic yet confident. This ship is set to self destruct in fifteen seconds. So youd better give me aye or nay now, Tog.
What would I care if you die?
Im sure you dont. he agreed as he held the weapon on Riker, but you do care if these two profitable women do.
The Damon looked at him as if he were thinking about the idea. Very well, human. You and the women can come aboard.
Him too. Thomas declared referring to Riker.
Why? The Damon asked abruptly.
I want to kill him slowly and it would seem that Ive only got seconds to do it here. He said through clenched teeth, he yanked a handful of Rikers hair, throwing his head backward. Ever had your throat cut, Brother? he asked coolly.
Suddenly Pahk gave a slow growl of warning, and then a bark of recognition as the dog sprang to his feet and stood by Toms side.
My dog too. Thomas said, his eyes never leaving Rikers.
Very well. Damon agreed, Beam them aboard.
Once they were gone, Picard stood to his feet, pulled down his uniform top and regained his stance. How much time to do we have Mr. Data?
The simulated self destruction is scheduled to appear in three point two seconds, Sir.
Make it so.
An instant later a huge explosion lit up the vacuum of space as the ferengi commander watched as the USS Enterprise exploded on the view screen, particles of debris slowly faded into space. Good bye, Captain Picard. He said with an evil smile.
I need to take these two to the brig. Thomas said, as he stood on the bridge of the ferengi ship, his weapon aimed on Troi, Riker and Crusher.
Damons first instinct was to kill Thomas, he swiveled around in his chair and was about to give the command when his eyes widened in horror and his chin dropped.
Pahk stood proud, the fur on the dogs back raised and he bared his razor sharp teeth, a menacing low-throated growl echoed throughout the bridge of the ship, sending chills up and down the spines of the ferengi crew. Pahk made it perfectly clear that he was ready to attack if anyone dared come close to his master.
Beverly and Deanna shot each other a look and both women swallowed hard. Im glad that hes on our side. Deanna whispered.
Is he? Beverly asked wide-eyed.
Thomas smiled, he had seen those eyes of fear before, that was the usual reaction that Pahk got from people, and for once he understood why Tia loved this dog so much. I wouldnt get any ideas if I were you Damon. Pahks favorite meat is ferengi. And he prefers it raw.
Damon Tog gulped, Yes, take them do the cells, they can join the others. He instructed, and then tore his eyes away from the huge beast. You are not Star fleet, human.
No Im not. Thomas agreed flatly. Im just like you. Damon looked at the Rikers twin puzzled, and then Thomas added with a raised eyebrow, One greedy little bastard.
With that Damon let out a hearty sound from his throat that could only be described as a laugh. Pahk barked, but it sounded more like a roar as the sound echoed in the small chamber of the ship, and Togs face immediately turned to stone.
Proceed, and then meet me in my quarters, human. He stated flatly, if the truth were known he didnt want any more reaction from the beast of a dog.
Once they were out of the sight of the Damon, Thomas lowered his weapon.
Riker tapped his badge.
<<<Go ahead Number One.>>>
<<<Its most definitely a slave trading ship, Sir.>>>
There was a short period of silence and Riker imagined that his Captain was seething with anger at the idea of selling life forms for slavery and for profit.
<<<Find Thomas wife and well take it from here.>>>
Weve scanned the ship, Captain. Data stated swiveling around in his chair.
Readings indicate that there are fifty-seven female life forms and thirty-six smaller life forms, excluding ferengi, sir. He saw the Captains look and mistook it for something that it wasnt and continued, There are twenty two ferengi aboard the ship. And then he added, Sir.
I want a tractor beam on that ship now!
Mr. Worf, take a security team and arrest all Ferengi personal, and lock them in the brig.
And if they resist, sir?
Take any precautions that you deem fit, Lieutenant.
Thats all Worf needed to hear, Security team thirteen to transporter room four. He commanded in an even tone, and then he smiled as the turbo doors closed. His mind envisioned the sight and feel of two ferengi skulls slamming against one another.
Set a course for the nearest Star base. Picard stated in a calm tone, he let out a sigh of disgust, and sat down in his chair.
Tia Riker sat behind the invisible bars of the ferengi ship. The cell was hot, and crowded, with the stench of sweat and tears. She crouched down slowly, sliding against a wall and brought her knees up to her chin, resting her head on her knees. It had been over two weeks since she had seen Thomas, and she doubted if he was back from his mission, by the time he found out about her kidnapping she would probably be half way across the galaxy. She raised her head and looked around her, there were four cells and all were filled with women and children, her blood boiled at the prospect of selling children, ripping them away from their parents just by the mere act of a bid. Oh how, she wished she had a weapon she would kill these ferengi scum one by one.
There was a small bark, just a small sound, but something about it reminded her of Pahk and the tears instantly came to her eyes. She remembered all too clearly seeing Pahk on the floor with a gaping wound in his side; and the gloat of the renegades voice telling the others that the great dog was indeed dead.
And then it sounded again, the next thing she knew the short ferengi guard screamed as a huge massive black blur sailed though the air and slammed into the chest of the ferengi prison guard, literally lifting him off of his feet and sending him flying through the air. Tia jumped up off of the floor and ran towards the opening of her small prison.
Pahk kill! She commanded as she nudged through the throng of cheering, and screaming prisoners. The dog instantly obeyed her command and with one huge bite of its massive jaws ripped the first guards throat out, practically severing the head and spat the bloody remains on the floor.
The second guard too terrified to run watched in horror as the dog then slowly came towards him.
Pahk! Pahk pin down! she yelled though the invisible barrier of her cell. Her heart raced and she was suddenly filled with hope, Pahk was alive! He heart pounded in her chest with the revelation. It also meant that Thomas had gotten word of the attack and of the kidnapping.
She smiled as the small ferengi guard squirmed and screamed under the huge mass of Black Death. Suddenly there was no movement of either animal or man, the dogs massive jaws was like a vice grip on guards throat, ready to clamp down and then rip the smaller aliens larynx or anything this else from his body, probably taking his whole head with him. Pleeeese was all the guard could seem to squeak out of his throat.
Free us or Ill command him to kill. She warned.
The guard was too frightened to respond. He laid frozen on the ground, terrified as he felt the dogs warm breath on his throat and the low deadly growl daring him to move.
Riker and Deanna ran through the doorway and Riker came to a screeching halt at the sight of the dead guard, his eyes moved to the dog who had the other guard paralyzed to the floor. Damn.
Thomas! Tia yelled as she began to jump up and down, waving her arms trying to get his attention in the throng of yelling prisoners. Pahk guard. She yelled, the dog immediately let go of the guards throat, leaving the poor man withering on the floor in pain, his hands clasped tightly around his throat. In less than a second the dog was immediately at Rikers side, ready to fend off any one that would come near him.
Riker stood in front of the brig, tapped the button and released the invisible barrier, without thinking Tia jumped into his arms and kissed him fully on the lips.
Riker stood in front of the brig, tapped the button and released the invisible barrier, without thinking Tia jumped into his arms and kissed him fully on the lips.
Tia soon realized that this wasnt Thomas, the man she was kissing didnt kiss like her husband, and he had a sent of soap, and a spicy aftershave. She broke away immediately and looked into his face, his eyes were the same brilliant blue as her husbands, and he was just as stout, but this Riker had shorter hair and a full beard. Tia immediately pushed herself away from this imposter.
Riker stood disbelief. This woman was most definitely stunning, with long copper colored hair, with big loose curls flowed across her bare olive skinned shoulders, she had deep-set eyes that were the color of deep blue sapphires, giving her somewhat of a gorgeous, gypsy look.
Tias hand moved so quickly that even Pahk didnt see her. She slapped Riker across the face with such force, his head automatically snapped to the side.
Will! Deanna cried out in alarm, sensing his pain. She was by his side in an instant.
How dare you!! Tia screamed at Riker. In an instant Pahk was standing in between them, and on guard. The dog showed his razor sharp teeth and growled.
Me?! He exclaimed as he rubbed his now reddened jaw. He looked at her and smiled, Youre one hell of a sister in law.
I assure you, Sir. She stated with a raise of her chin. Pahk will gladly rip that arrogant smile from of your face. she warned with the proudest voice that she could muster.
Rikers mind recalled all to well the dead ferengi guard that lay mutilated on the floor, his face suddenly became serious and he and took a step back, shielding Deannas body with his.
My name is Commander William Riker, first officer of the USS Enterprise. This is Counselor Deanna Troi of the same ship. He explained, We mean you no harm . . . were here to rescue you. Riker tried to make her and the dog see reason.
Listen, Tia. That is your name, right? Tia. In about fifteen seconds this ship is going to be flooded with Starfleet officers.
Will. Deanna said, walking out from behind Will. What is she talking about? Did you kiss her?
Im innocent, Deanna. I didnt do anything; Shes the one who flew into my arms. Riker explained, he didnt know if he could handle, Deanna, Tia and the dog all at the same time.
Deanna stood and studied him for a moment and he felt her gentle probe against
his mind, she was sensing for falsehoods and he knew it. Stop interrogating
my brain. Im not lying, damn it. He cursed pushing away her probe.
Deanna gave a one shoulder shrug, acting as if she could care less.
Riker took a step forward to tell Deanna he was sorry for raising his voice to her, but the dog mistook his intention and immediately sprang into action, and gave a deadly warning. Riker flinched. Oh shit. He whispered his attentions then turned to Tia, Would you please call your hound from hell off. So that I can talk to my fiancé.
Pahk, at ease. Thomas commanded but the dog did not respond, if anything the dog growled louder at Will Riker forcing him to take another step away from his sister in law.
Tias deep blue eyes widened as Thomas approached. Could it be she wondered? Her brain was fuzzy, and she was weak. Slapping Riker had taken most of her strength away; she was not only weak physically but mentally as well. The whole cellblock was in chaos as women and children cried, some with joy at the rescue and others in pain from their recent tortures. Was Pahk real she wondered? She had wished to see him again. Was this Riker real? Was it really Thomas?
Youre trickeries shall have not influence on Pahk. She stated, He obeys only me.
Shes confused and disorientated. Deanna stated.
Its me, Tia. He said sensing her confusion, taking a step towards her.
Pahk please help me. Tia whispered, as her knees turned to mud, and she slowly fell to her knees. Her head was dizzy and her sight was beginning to become blurry and fuzzy. The huge dog immediately sprang into action and lunged forward. Pahk sounded three deep rapid barks, making both Riker men flinch.
Pahk move. Thomas said as he stepped forward, and reached out to touch his wife.
No. Tia whispered flinching at his touch.
Without hesitation the dog immediately lunged forward and clamped down on Thomas wrist. Out of reflex Thomas jerked his hand back out of the Pahks angry mouth. Thomas took the dogs warning and stepped back.
Thomas are you all right? Deanna asked immediately grabbing his hand and inspecting it. There were red scratches across his palm from the dogs sharp teeth.
Yeah. Thomas said, rubbing his scratched hand with the other.
Theres no way in hell that dogs going to let us near her. Riker told his brother. Unless we want to end up like my throat less chess partner over there.
We could transport her directly to sick-bay? Deanna suggested.
No we cant. Hell rip us to shreds the minute shes gone.
Thomas fear of the dog suddenly turned into anger. He had spent the last two weeks attempting to find his wife and coordinate the ferengi flight pattern. Then he had to swallow his pride, and contact his brother, of all people for help. Plus, he stayed by the dogs side, morning, noon and night until Pahk fully recovered, and now the mangy mutt was turning on him.
God damn it, Pahk! Thomas cursed, I dont need any shit from you!
The huge animal didnt budge, his eyes flashed with a deadly anger and the fur on his back stood straight up.
Pahk, either step aside or so help me God Ill kill you. Thomas swore.
Again, Pahk didnt budge; he lunged forward in the most threatening manner, one that even Thomas had never seen before.
Thats it! Im going to kill that son of a bitch! Thomas cursed reaching for his weapon.
The only thing stopping him from shooting was Deanna grabbing onto his arm. Let me talk to him. She suggested, Rikers head whip lashed towards Deanna, and was about to protest, but it was too late.
Deanna slowly knelt in front of the vicious dog.
All Riker could do was watch cautiously now and stand with his hand on his phaser, ready to fire if the dog attacked.
Pahk, youre only doing this because of your great love for her. Deanna began to explain to the animal in a comforting tone. You possess a love that is stronger than any of us could ever imagine. Shes disorientated and confused. Please . . .let us help her.
The dog looked up at the Betazoid, and then over towards Thomas. His shoulders fell and he began to relax, Pahk moved to the side and allowed them to pass. In an instant Thomas scooped her limp body up in his arms, securing her head on his chest and gave Riker a nod.
Riker reached for his com badge and the dog snarled. He held his hand up in surrender, Im just going to tap my badge and get us all to sick-bay.
With one eye on the dog, he tapped his badge, Riker to Enterprise. He let out a deep breath.
<<<Go ahead Commander.>>>
<<<Four >>> the massive dog bared his white sharp teeth, <<<Five to beam up.>>>
They felt the aura of the transporter effect beginning----and in less than a millisecond, they begin to vanish.
Tia Riker lie on the examining table in sickbay. She was taller than most women, standing at five foot eleven, with a long slender body and legs; Thomas smiled at the memory, and she had the best looking legs that he had ever seen on a female in his entire life. Her hair the color of a red sunset, was fanned gently around her face, she didnt wear it up as most women her age did, but let the long coppery curls cascade down around her dark tanned shoulders. Her eyes were closed, and behind those lids were eyes the color of blue glass, which glittered like speck of ice when she was angry. She possessed a pointed delicate nose and lips rich and full. She was definitely beautiful. Thomas began to understand why her father insisted that she have a guard dog; she lived in a world where beauty was often a curse rather than a blessing.
Although he was still angry with Pahk for refusing him access to his wife, he was thankful that she had such a faithful guardian. The dog had stayed by her side, refusing to leave. Beverly consented to have the dog lay at the foot of the bed on the floor, she spoke to Pahk as if he were human and said that if he caused any trouble or got in the way shed toss him out the door. The dog seemed to understand and gave a happy bark.
Shes going to be fine. The soft soothing voice of Beverly Crusher reassured him as she placed a soft hand on his shoulder. Shes weak and from the looks of it none of the prisoners were fed well, theyre all suffering from malnutrition and exhaustion. Give her a week of rest and she should be as good as new.
Thank you. Thomas whispered, his eyes never leaving his wifes face.
She may sleep for the next sixteen to twenty four hours, weve given her a hypo of nutrients to replenish her system. Theres nothing you can do.
I can be here.
You need to get something to eat and some sleep, Thomas. She stated with a concern to her voice and then she smiled, Thats an order.
You cant give me orders. Im not star fleet. Thomas smiled, and then soon realized his mistake.
Beverlys green eyes narrowed Dont tempt me Riker.
Okay, you win. Thomas laughed, Come on Pahk lets go get something to eat.
The dog made no effort to move. Beverly eyed the dog with a creased brow, stomped her foot on the floor and commanded in an angry motherly tone, Out!
The dog immediately sprang to his feet and tucked its tail between its legs and scampered out the door.
You really dont think you did that do you? Thomas stated in smug disbelief. He knew for a fact that heaven or hell couldnt move the dog unless it wanted to be moved. Pahk obeyed no one but Tia. He had seen it time and time again, hell half the time the dog wouldnt even acknowledge that he had even spoke.
Beverly just cocked her head and smiled.
Damn show off, dog. Thomas Riker cursed as he walked out the door.
Thomas and Will Riker sat in ten forward, they had just finished their meal and was having a drink. Pahk had eaten his fill and had run back to sickbay to sleep in Tias room.
Think Beverly will let him in sick-bay? Riker asked as the dog pranced proudly out of the lounge.
Beverlys gone and Pahk knows it.
Thats one hell of a pet youve got there. Riker said swiveling back in his chair.
Pahks not mine. You saw how well he obeyed me on that ferengi ship didnt you?
By the way, that was pretty good acting you did on the bridge.
I try. Thomas smiled into his glass, before he took a sip.
If we had insisted on that inspection, Tog would have disintegrated everyone on that ship, before we would have boarded.
Destroyed all the evidence. Thomas stated, his mind instantly gripped in fear at the thought of Tia and the others being destroyed, just to keep Tog out of trouble. He quickly tossed the thought aside, not wanting to dwell on it.
Yeah. Riker said, sipping a drink thinking the same thing as Thomas. The bastard.
Thomas looked over at Riker thoughtfully, and then snapped his fingers as if he had figured it all out. Glory hog, thats it! Hes a damn Glory Hog.
Who? Riker asked totally lost.
Pahk! Hes a glory hog.
Have you lost your mind? Riker asked, not believing the conversation that his brother was having with the dog. Youre talking about a dog for Christs sake.
No Im talking about a glory hog that wants all of the credit for rescuing my wife. He then glared, Why that sneaky weaseled mutt.
As I recall that one hundred and eight-five pound mutt almost ripped your hand off.
Formalities. Thomas stated as he finished his drink and slammed his glass on the table, he waved his arm and gestured the bartender for another round of drinks.
So tell me howd you get out of prison? Riker asked deciding to change the mood and subject.
You know the story. They give you life in prison---after seven years of good behavior, youre out.
Riker looked at his twin suspiciously. He wasnt buying it. Thats not what happened.
No, not exactly. Thomas smiled, and then he began to tell the story, Prison camp can change a mans life, change a mans attitude towards his own life.
He told the story as he sipped his bourbon, his eyes hardened with the memory. After about three years my stomach stopped digesting the slop they fed us, and I was down to about one hundred and ten pounds. In another week Im sure I would have been thrown into the incinerator just as so many others were. I was in bad shape, too sick to work in the mines, but not sick enough to die. He took another sip of his drink before he continued.
The Cardassians would occasionally send the weaker ones to the land of King Omnian, where his Doctors used them as human guinea pigs for the intern doctors to practice on, and if they died, they became organ donors. Who in the hell cared right? He took another sip of his drink and swallowed hard. I just happened to be one of the lucky ones that was given an intern that gave a damn if I lived or died. She did everything within her power to save me. After about three months in the hospital I was beginning to get my strength back, and my sense of humor. He smiled at the thought, She and I became good friends, I was bigger and stronger than most, so she and her professor did some handy-dandy paperwork and got me a job as the Kings personal bodyguard. It goes from there, I was given Tia as a gift for faithful service, and you know the rest . . .
Deanna and I were informed by the Cardassian home world that you had been executed in an attempt to escape.
At least they gave me a heros exit. Thomas Riker stated not really giving a damn, as he sipped his drink.
Thomas? Riker asked, and Thomas picked up on the change in his brothers voice. Will Riker wanted to tell him something and by the tone in which he said his name it wasnt good.
Do you remember Cindy?
Thomas blue eyes flickered with remembrance, the pain of the memory seared through his brain in less than an instant, and his body stiffened. Of course I do. Why?
There was a communiqué from her when I boarded back on the ship this afternoon.
And? He asked with special interest as he leaned in closer to the center of the table.
Riker waited until the bartender placed the bottle on the table and was out of hearing distance, he poured himself a drink. He then looked out the window of ten-forward as if he was trying to find the courage to say his next words; he looked down at his hands that were wrapped around the short round glass and concentrated on the golden liquid inside. He raised his head up to his brother and their eyes met, Riker suddenly looked sad and tired, She said it was time.
Oh shit. Thomas breathed, his voice full of dread as he flopped back in his chair. This was the last thing he wanted to hear; he never thought he would hear from this girl again and now years later, hell eons later she shows up again.
I thought that time would sort things out. Riker stated bleakly.
Leave it be. Thomas said pointedly, sitting up in his chair.
Riker gave him a questioning look.
Thomas leaned closer into the table. Look, Will . . .you and I, were both realist. And we know where our loyalties lie . . .the way we are, the way we live, who we love . . .it suits us. . Im fine with things just as they are. I say, leave it be.
Riker gave his brothers words some thought and then he too leaned in closer towards the center of the table, his eyes flickered with life. Nothings static in life, Thomas. Riker argued in a low voice. Even if we fight against it; the past, certain events . . .change . . . whatever you want to call it. He explained, It always comes barreling in, smashing through our perfect pre-arranged lives. Were not bound to live with everyone, were only bound to live with our own selves. It was very Deanna Troi of him, he knew it, but Thomas still looked shocked.
Thats philosophical. His twin replied.
Riker smiled. Yeah, sometimes I even surprise myself.
If we do this--- we do it together.
I was hoping youd say that. Riker said with some relief, he slammed the rest of his drink down his throat and then his voice lowered Its time for Cinderella to go to meet Prince Charming.
Thomas shot him a look, and Riker knew that his twin knew exactly what he was talking about.
Tia woke and slowly opened her eyes, the room was bright and she blinked trying to adjust to the brightness of the room. Slowly she sat up on the bed, and noticed Pahk who was waiting eagerly with a wagging tail and a hanging tongue.
She smiled and found the strength to get out of bed, Pahk. She breathed, and lowered herself onto her knees, and wrapped her arms around the massive dogs neck, Pahk. She whispered as the tears began to flow, Youre alive. I thought you were dead. She cried. My brave, brave Pahk. And then she began to laugh as the dog licked her face. The dog was extremely gentle, being careful not to knock her over with its massive weight. My poor little puppy. She laughed and cried at the same time as she buried her face in the dogs black slick fur.
Poor little puppy? Riker questioned in disbelief, he looked over towards Thomas. Youre all nuts, You, Her and the dog.
You see what I mean, hes a glory hog. Thomas said there was a hint of jealousy to his voice, You think shed welcome me like that? He threw his hands in the air, No hell no. Not when that smart ass dog is around.
Oh Thomas. She laughed as she straightened her posture and walked toward him, embracing him. He wrapped his arms around her. It just feels so good to feel safe again.
Are you okay? he whispered as he kissed the top of her head.
I am now. She smiled, and then she looked at him her eyes pleading, What about the others? The women and children?
Theyre safe. Riker assured her. Were en route to star base twenty-seven as we speak.
Youre the man who kissed me.
And I believe youre the woman who --- slapped me. Riker smiled. Rather hard as I recall.
Tia smiled at Riker, Im usually not so violent. Please forgive me.
Riker returned her smile. He liked this woman, she was beautiful and feisty and full of life. And she was an addition to his small family, he now considered Thomas as an asset instead of a drawback. It wasnt Thomas Rikers fault he was here, and he had to give Thomas credit. The man had politely moved to the side, and allowed Will his space. Apology accepted. Now if you would please excuse me. Ive got a fiancé waiting for me in my quarters.
A fiancé? Tia asked with interest. What is she like?
Thomas answered, Shes beautiful and kind. Pleasant to talk to and very, very forgiving. And then he chuckled, Shed have to be, to be with Riker. My brother knows little about the opposite sex and as a result he gets into a lot of trouble with them.
Tias deep blue eyes twinkled, as she looked over at her new brother in law, waiting for his response. She got none or so she thought, choosing to ignore his brothers sarcasm, Riker took the liberty to change the direction of the conversation. He stood in his most Starfleet posture and spoke with the voice of a poised Commander, Thomas, I trust youve made preparations for the animal to be transferred to the Sector twenty-three JAG offices; thus becoming the sole property of Starfleet as agreed upon via your wifes safe return. He paused for a moment only to see the shocked expression in his duplicates eyes. Rikers face never wavered as he turned his attention to Tia, If youll excuse me. Ill inform the Captain, that we are ready to proceed with the transfer.
You What!! Tia gasped spinning around to face her husband. Her dark blue marble eyes grew dark with anger. You gave Pahk away! You wouldnt dare!
The last thing Riker saw as the turbo doors closed was Tia standing in front of a flabbergasted, stammering tongued Thomas Riker, with her arms crossed in front of her and her foot angrily tapping the floor.
This feels wonderful. Tia sighed, sliding down, to her neck in the tub of hot, soapy water. Ive forgotten what it feels like to be pampered, Pahk.
The dog didnt respond, Pahk was sleeping at the foot of the tub, curled up into a ball; after having dinner, one that Tia has prepared especially for the huge canine; the dog was full bellied and exhausted. Tia leaned back into the tub and closed her eyes.
Feeling better? Thomas asked as he entered the bathing area, his eyes fell upon the dog and was surprised that Pahk didnt move or attempt to wake up. Usually, the dog was so protective of Tia that if anyone entered he would immediately jump to his feet.
Oh much better. She answered, never opening her eyes.
Thomas grinned and held out a huge towel for his wife. Youd better get out before you wrinkle.
She looking at him she stood up and took the thirsty towel from his hands, and wrapped the towel around her body, stepped out of the tub and looked at Thomas, I was so terrified. She whispered, tears began to well up in her dark blue eyes, and he pulled her close to him. I was so terrified that Id never see you again. she murmured into his chest. That Id never be able to tell you how much I love you.
You can tell me now. He stated kissing the top of her head.
She raised her head and looked at him, her dark blue eyes glistened with tears, I love you very much, Thomas Riker.
More than Pahk? he asked with a raised eyebrow.
She looked at him thoughtfully and then warned softly with a bit of tease to her voice. Dont start. She warned softly as she made her way to the living room area.
Just teasing. Thomas stated as he joined his wife in the living room. He bent his head down and kissed her gently, his mouth moved to her neck.
You know-- she said, moving her head to the side giving him access to her neck. That little pay back your brother invented was very clever. she said, Hes very quick witted.
My brothers wit is the last thing I want to talk about now. He whispered as he kissed a soft trail across her shoulders and then down to her breast.
Thomas threw the towel that she had wrapped around her to the side, and tangled his hands into her hair gently lowering her to the floor. He kissed her and positioned his body over hers, as passion began to over take them.
Suddenly something big and heavy landed on Thomas back, knocking him off balance and he fell squarely on top to Tia, he quickly lifted himself with his arms so that he wouldnt crush her. What the hell!
Pahk. Tia laughed as she squirmed out from underneath of Thomas. Did you wake up? she laughed as she buried her face in the animals back.
Thomas sat back on his heels. Oh Great! he said sarcastically, You know, Tia. I think that demon dog of yours does this on purpose.
The dog barked happily and to Thomas surprise pounced on him and began to lick his face with jubilation. Damn it, Pahk youre going to drown me. He complained with a hint of laughter to his voice. In spite of his words Thomas found himself laughing and hugging the strong black canine.
Thomas eyes lit up as the huge dog ran half way across the floor, spun around and barked playfully and then charged with a happy gallop. Thomas and Tia had only been married for ten months and this was the first time that the dog had actually ever played with the new man in Tias life so willingly. To Thomas it was more of the Pahks way of saying; I welcome you and Im willing to share.
Tia wrapped the towel around her nude body and sat on the floor and laughed as man and dog wrestled and played on the carpet in the middle of the living room.
Thomas woke up slowly; he had no idea if it was in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning. He was spooned with Tia in his arms, his thigh crossing over her legs, their bodies tangled from their recent lovemaking. Thinking his leg was probably crushing her he moved his leg and felt a hard lump in the bed. It was big and it was nestled snug against his spinal column. Sometime in the middle of the night the dog had climbed in the bed, he reasoned.
Pahk roll over, youre hogging the bed. He whispered his command; the dog perked its ears, and surprisingly obeyed. The massive animal moved, sprawling out at the foot of the bed.
Thomas found himself relaxing once again; he pulled his wifes body closer and drifted back to sleep.
Rikers quarters Deannas eyes fluttered opened; she felt the humming of the engines and smiled, she rolled over in Rikers arms, careful not to wake the sleeping Commander, for a moment she stared at him, looking at his face, so masculine, so strong. And she loved him, they were engaged to be married, the revelation made her smile as she placed the tip of her finger lightly across his bearded cheek.
Then, with no warning, a deep ache began to gnaw at the center of her core sending a shiver down her spine, she suddenly felt cold. Thinking that it was probably just the other members aboard the ship, she closed her mind to the discomfort, and nestled up closer to Riker, who even in his sleep began to send her comforting strength. She began to relax and felt her eyes and mind fall back into slumber.