USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Reading My Eyes

Posted on Fri Apr 7th, 2017 @ 11:17pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Quark's Bar; Deep Space 9
Timeline: Mission Day 74; 19:30

Amber led Akiva out to a quieter part of the bar and clutched her glass of wine. She wasn't expecting anything to go anywhere but she felt the nervous man might be able to talk about whatever was on his mind in a quieter surrounding with less people around to hear. After choosing a suitable position that was close to the reserved room but away from any eavesdroppers Amber spoke.

"You seem anxious. What's on your mind?" Amber asked.

Akiva looked around to see if anyone was within earshot. When he saw nobody watching, he breathed a little easier.

"In a word... you." Akiva offered a boyish smile. "I find myself so taken with you that I act like a fool just being near you. And... I don't know what to do about that."

Amber was pleasantly delighted her thoughts about Akiva being interested in her were true. She'd been interested in the Executive Officer for a good month or so now and now it was out in the open she couldn't contain her delight. Resting her hands on Akiva's shoulders Amber felt she was finally ready to move on from her last disaster of a relationship in her last year at the Academy. She just wondered what her family would say if she told them she was dating the Vindex's Executive Officer - although she expected they'd be supportive if Amber was happy.

"I am so glad you said that because I'll admit I've been thinking about you too. All you need to know is I just want you to just relax and be yourself because I like you for who you are - if you want to try things out between us and take it at a steady and comfortable pace that's best for you then we can. You're pretty cute when you're nervous though" Amber replied.

Akiva's dark complexion reddened behind his firmly pressed lips. It took a moment for him to process and accept what Amber was saying.
"Ms Zuz... Amber, let me be honest. I've never done this before." He cleared his throat with a hasty gulp.
"There are certain.... procedures... on my homeworld that are not in play... well, out here. I don't want to just jump into something hastily, but when I'm not stumbling over my words around you, my thoughts start doing so away from you."

Amber kept her hands on Akiva's shoulders and massaged them gently.

Amber smiled. "We can follow those procedures out here if that's what you feel comfortable with...Akiva. It's alright if you haven't done it before though - I've had a couple of boyfriends who've never had a girlfriend before so it's nothing new to me. I like you as you are though - and you can think about me in whatever way you want. I'm not going to rush anything - but if you want to take me on a date tomorrow - then just say the word. I like Italian food and I love coffee if that's going to be any help to you..."

"Italian is good." Akiva shot his gaze to the size in brief contemplation. "I think I can do that." He turned back to Amber and grinned. "I drink my coffee raw, though. Have you had Kafe Botz?"

Amber grinned back and shook her head - she'd not had Kafe Botz before - she was a massive cappuccino fan and anyone who made her a cappuccino was always going to be in her good books.

"No I haven't - but I'll try that tomorrow if you've got any available" Amber replied.

"Well... maybe I'll start you off slow with Shachor, the standard black, before going straight to Botz," Akiva said. His eyes turned troubled, hinting at more than just the subject matter. "If it's too strong, you might not know what you're in for and lose your taste for it."

Amber continued to grin a she looked into Akiva's eyes - hoping her relaxed attitude to the situation gave him some reassurance. It didn't matter what coffee Akiva was offering - it was getting to know him and maybe going further that Amber cared about the most.

"Building up sounds good to me" Amber whispered into Akiva's ear.

The whispered words sent a shock through Akiva from head to toe that sent him quivering with anticipation. His breathing quickened again, but not from anxiety.

"Build up is good," Akiva babbled. He was losing himself in Amber's eyes yet again. "And... yes." Blinking to clear his thoughts, Akiva forced himself to concentrate despite gazing into those endless eyes.

"I never... Amber, you are the sort of woman I've always considered out of my league." He shuffled at the admission, but quickly added, "I can't promise you anything, so before we get any further, I want to thank you for giving this... giving us a chance."

Amber smiled reassuringly and held Akiva's hands loosely but firmly.

"Thank you for giving us a chance too. We'll take it at whatever pace you want - but building up and slow is good. I know your daughter has been trying to drop subtle hints about me coming over for dinner one night...she's a good one Akiva. She's got your best interests at heart and I'll be there for her as much as you need me to be" Amber replied.

"Yes, that little mazik set me up to compliment you in the Observation Lounge if you recall." The anxiety in Akiva's voice was replaced with pride. "She has perhaps grown as fond of you as I have. In much different ways of course."

He flushed again at the lack of subtlety, but he supposed he would have to get to it. There was no denying Amber was a breathtakingly beautiful woman.

Amber smiled. "I'm fond of her too - she's a sweetheart and I can see she's your daughter - synthetic or not she's as 'human' shall we say as anyone else on the ship. We don't have to tell her right away though - we can tell her once we're certain we're both ready for other people to know"

Other people. If it became public that Amber was interested in him, that would make it official wouldn't it?
"Yes, that would be for the best," Akiva agreed. He coughed into his hand. "So where should we hold our... date?"
The word hit him like a ton of bricks. He was actually going to date someone.

"We can hold it in my quarters if you like - quiet and away from prying eyes. I'll do the cooking this time but you can watch so next time you can cook - but you can bring the coffee this time seeing as you offered to. How does that sound?" Amber asked.

"Great." Akiva realized how hollow that seemed. "Wonderful, even. I'm really looking forward to it."

Amber grinned. "Me too. Drop by my quarters at around 19:00 hours tomorrow and we can have a cookery lesson and maybe some coffee for afterwards. Don't worry - I don't have any pets or anything so there'll be no distractions"

Not knowing what else to do, Akiva took Amber's hand and kissed it gently. "I will see you then. Good night, Amber."

Despite Amber's assurances to the contrary, Akiva was worried he would blow it at any moment. He excused himself to mingle one last time before making his way back to the Vindex.

On his walk through the Promenade to the docking ring, Akiva reflected on how perfect this evening had been. The woman he had pined over for some time now returned his feelings, and seemed eager to pursue intimacy.

What's more was that rather than finding his dysfunctions off-putting, she claimed they were attractive. That would sound ridiculous to him, except... just hours earlier he had lost his composure with Petty Officer Laena for similar feelings she had evoked in him. She said his touch had been calming, though her body language said otherwise.

It was then it finally struck him: Amber found his fumbling as attractive as Laena's frailty had been to him in the moment. That thought brought Akiva small comfort, though enough to make him grin idiotically while pressing through the crowd. If that was how relationships worked, then he should've risked one years ago.

When Akiva reboarded the Vindex, there was a bolder spring in his step. The spring of a man ready to take risks.

 

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