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SB-214: Prisoner for Intel. Part 1.

Posted on Mon Apr 22nd, 2019 @ 9:17am by Captain Raymond Wulfe & Lieutenant JG Dahlia Vine

Mission: Mission 29: Shore leave, supporting Leadership of SB-214
Location: docking bay civilian ship
Timeline: 11 April 2392

ON:

"I don't even know if she is here T'lordia? If she is I will tell her you missed her and want her to visit. Happy?"

"That is neither what I said nor as you know what I meant. You stubborn thick skulled human. You have been mopping around for weeks and this mission was a month out of our way and into a warzone. So don't try to be sly. Just tell her you missed her."

MacCloud was walking to the Ferengi's cell "look it just doesn't matter she wants the fleet career she missed out on. How much of a friend would I be if I pressured her to let that go just to hang out with me. T'lordia. I won't do it. She has her shot and she deserves to enjoy it with no guilt."

MacCloud opened the cell door "C'mon Litax no need for you to stick around either. Fleet intel is offering 300k credits for your ugly hide and I mean to collect. MacCloud stopped as the ferengi walked out of the cell. If I don't hear those manacles snapped back into a locked position I will be delivering you on a stretcher."

MacCloud looked to the sensory bands on the ceiling even knowing T'lordia was not really there, "so Fleet intel is ready for him?"

"Yes Sir, you can deliver the prisoner to a CPO Luuna." T'lordia could get very grumpy and right now was one of those times. Not having a body had if anything made the disembodied Vulcan more emotional! "I ensured all docking protocols were observed as well. You have been on the fringe too long and there were a few things you overlooked. Are you not lucky you have me."

Maccloud took the Ferengi off the ship "set all standard defensive measures. At least those 'Legal' here." He started the walk to a turbolift with the Ferengi informant Litax in tow.

Down the linking corridor, Dahlia Vine walked lightly in the general direction of the pair. She didn't realise it fully yet, but was following an instinct. The Betazoid part of her was fighting for attention, guiding her feet in the direction of the familiar presence she could feel amongst so many other people. She stopped when she saw him, recognising him at once by how he moved. "Why, if it isn't Captain MacCloud..." she called to him before sauntering her way over with a playful smile.

"Captain?" He raised an eyebrow "I will have you I was a Major. Lieutenant." He laughed glad to she her well. I heard you and the Asgard had some tough stuff to deal with since I saw you last. Are you here to collect my prisoner? The bounty is from Fleet Intel." The Ferengi tried to step away thinking MacCloud was distracted till A hand seized his neck and made his knees bend. "Just stay here Litax. I have not been paid for you yet." Dahlia even if she noticed his surface thoughts would know he had missed her a lot.

"Whatever rank you might be, you're still the Captain of a pretty wonderful ship," Dahlia smiled warmly, shaking her head as she watched him fondly. She could have forgotten about the reason he was there, until the prisoner started to squirm. She sighed, half rolling her eyes as she looked his way. "You're spoiling a moment here. Fine, come on," she motioned with her hand. "I've been given the go ahead to pay you once we confirm he's the real thing."

"I trust you, want to bring my money to the StarDuster later. We could have dinner together. T"lordia has missed you a great deal, in fact you are all she talks about." MacCloud was being honest to a point, but he was holding something back.

Dahlia could sense the slight hold back, but not what it was. She smiled all the same though; everyone had things they didn't want said out loud. It was natural. "Sounds like a great plan to me...tell T'lordia I'll dress up just for her..." she teased softly, but fondly.

"Makes sense as for me I would rather you undress." MacCloud left the ferengi with Vine as he walked away laughing. His face was beet red from his uncanny blush when with women but he had gotten in the one-liner and escaped before his face went red!

Dahlia was laughing to herself at the line, shaking her head fondly. She only sighed when the prisoner tugged at her grip on his cuffs and she shoved him forward a step. "You're lucky I'm in a good mood," she assured the ferengi, half pushing him into the lift.

==1800hrs that evening==
MacCloud was sitting in the lounge of the ship watching a video when T'lordia spoke. "You wantto meet her at the ramp and walk her in, she is here." T'lordia offered no name as there was only one woman Ryder had been pining over for the last couple months. T'lordia's sensors could detect a micro-organism within a hundred feet of her hull docked like this. So Ryder needed no other security really. "What about protocols? She is not part of the crew after all."

MacCloud shook his head "just seal off the ramp and lock down the engine room. I think we can trust her not to break you during dinner." He walked to the top of the ramp and waited. When she appeared he waved her in "Glad you could make it."

"I wouldn't miss this for the world," Dahlia assured him with a customary playful smile. Her dark hair was half twisted up and secured with a wooden stick, the rest of it loose. She wore a black and gold silk dress in a distinct, short kimono style that she'd paid good money for on the station. What better time to take it out for the first time? She hesitated, half expecting to need to offer her wrists out for the bracelets...and quirked an eyebrow when he didn't give them to her. She didn't say anything though, not wanting to make a big scene out of it, she simply smiled with gratitude to him instead. "It's been too long."

T'lordia spoke as she entered the ship''s lounge "I just want you to know Dahlia, friend you maybe but I still do not agree you should be aboard me without the proper restrains. I will be on high alert and you are still confined to the lounge area." Her snippy tone ended there and her friendly warm invitation followed. "Having said that I would be delighted to make you dinner my friend. What would you like to eat? Also the bar is well stocked if you would like a drink. Just tell lunk-head over there what you would like. Just keep it simply Dahlia, we both know how dumb he can be."

Dahlia laughed softly, shaking her head fondly as she gave a teasing smile to MacCloud, to assure him she was only joining in T'lordia's jibe good naturedly. "Seeing as you're being such a good host, T'lordia, I promise to be a good guest on my best behaviour," she assured her. She'd never harm her, or MacCloud, but she could only imagine how it must be for T'lordia, part of a ship, vulnerable to those on it. "I'd love some wine, if you have it?"

"Wine it is, we have a red merlo that is very nice." Ryder poured two glasses and pointed to the couch "have a seat." He sat beside her a polite distance apart and handed her the glass. "So seems you are doing well." Ryder was an able fighter and an excellent planner but talking to a pretty girl was just not in his skill set. "Ahh, I don't guess you have heard anything from Myrina? She likely has her own ship command by now."

She laughed softly at that, shaking her head with a warm smile. "No idea, but it wouldn't surprise me. You would too, you know. If you'd chosen that life. That, I have no doubt of..."

T'lordia made an audible groan, it sounded like a toilet flushing.

Dahlia glanced upwards, her head tilting with something between amusement and concern at the sound. "You okay there, T'lordia?"

T'lordia made another groan, "men, human men in particular? Dahlia how do you put up with him. He wants to kiss you, and more but he would never open his mouth. He is soo noble? I will leave you two alone I have an engine to diagnose.

Ryder's face turned red "I will go get dinner now. Please just have a seat at the table. "I can get us some fried chicken and steak frys. I got a chocolate cake from the base when I was there. It smells really good and it was bakery fresh a few hours ago. He brought plates silverware and the food to the table all at once and set it up for the meal. He did not look directly at Dahlia though and his face was still red.

Dahlia was watching him though, taking him in, all of him, mind and all. She finally moved over to him, laying a reassuring hand on his arm. "You know you can just relax and be yourself around me, right?" she said softly, offering a warm but disarming smile to him. "I don't want you to feel ...awkward or like you have to hide things around me. I'd rather you were relaxed. I wouldn't judge you, Ryder. I already know you're the noblest man I know. What you think or say isn't going to change that."

"Do you remember what I said I would do to you if we were to make out?" His face was red but his eyes were confident "I would tie you down and make you be for mercy." He laughed as he touched his forehead to hers. "I do like you, we never did anything together and I figure that is the way you want it. You have a career now, the one you were cheated out of before. You never have to make a living being used by others. I don't fit into your life choice."

He stopped where he was and put his arms on her shoulders. "You decided what you wanted Dahlia, I offered you a position here and you turned it down. T'lordia is super smart and far smarter than I am. In this though I am right. I would be nothing but a roadblock for you. Sure I want you but I want you to be happy more than anything else. You are happy as an intelligence officer and my service days are long over with." He patted her shoulders "lets eat and be friends." He went to the counter top for the bottle of wine to bring to the table.

Dahlia smiled softly at the honesty. It was so ironic....him saying those things, about them not being part of each others lives, with such honesty, only proved to her that he really was part of it. That he was close to her. Closer than anyone else at least. She sat with him, letting her hands rest in her lap. "You fit in my life," she said firmly, watching him with a gentle smile. "We follow different paths, but here we are, Ryder...breaking bread and enjoying a drink together. With each other. Talking to each other. Being together. It might not be everyday, but....when it's moments like this, it makes them more precious," she shrugged softly. "To me, anyway."

Ryder nodded "To me as well. As T'lordia made some painfully evident I did miss you. That to most people would mean nothing really. I do not get close to many people, like that part of me is not really there. Which means I must truly care about you. Making my dilemma all the worst. As I have mentioned to you whenever I sleep with someone They tend to remove themselves from my life." Ryder sighed, "in order to not loose your affection it would be wise for me to not seek having your body. Which means my lusting after your perfection is all the more troubling." Ryder was always open and honest, quite often more so than most would be comfortable with.

Dahlia remained relaxed though, smiling warmly as she held his eyes. The honesty was refreshing to her. Her time in prostitution made her wary of men who said one thing but really felt and wanted something else. It made tbem dangerous, especially if they were also lying to themself. It was oddly reassuring to her that he could be so upfront. "I don't know those women, but I have to question their judgement if they all left," she said softly. "Although, I really should correct you, I'm far from perfect."

Ryder turned facing her fully. "Are you questioning my judgement? I am not talking about being human and making the dumb mistakes we all make." He put his hand over her heart, in here, where you truly are, you are as perfect as any person I ever met. You care for others over your own welfare. You care despite all the bad you survived." His hands cupped her face and he kissed her forehead "never sell yourself short Dahia. You are better than most people I know." He winked and sat back down.

Dahlia actually blushed at the words. It wasn't a sight that was often seen, but he'd managed to make it happen. "You're such a gentleman," she chuckled fondly, shaking her head. "Do you have any idea how rare that is?"

Ryder laughed "if you mean rebellious, independent, and a pain the ass to most people than 'yepper' I have to agree with you." He began eating when you see Wulfe tell him I said hello. I you need me just get the message to T'lorida and I will get there. In fact I am still keeping an eye on you Dahlia. You get into trouble and I will find a way to get you back out." He winked "so after dinner you want to just hang out here or maybe go dancing on the base?"

"You'd dance with me?" she asked with an almost tempting smile. She loved dancing, and it wasn't often she got to do it anymore. "Out there? Where everyone can see?" her eyes and voice teased, but it was clear she wanted to do it.

"Of course, I actually do have some skills that do not involve killing people." Ryder went to grab his jacket and looked at her "wells lets go, I guess I need to prove to you I have moves." He laughed "as short as your dress is I will enjoy showing you off beautiful. I might even have to fight a few aggressive types off? All good."

She laughed warmly, looping her arm with his as she leant up close against him as they walked, looking around with bright if dark eyes. "I think that's the most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me," she teased fondly, winking to him.

He shook his head "I will avoid hurting anyone if I can." He walked with her arm in arm to the nearest turbolift and took her to a high class yet shady sort of place. He got a table in the back balcony area where he could watch the crowd and the dance floor. He sat close to Dahlia and left his hand drop to her thigh, his fingers just up under her hemline. "I get too frisky just slap me." Ryder squeezed her thigh. "this place has a bad rep but by all accounts the food is the best and the dance floor is special."

Dahlia smiled playfully to him, covering his hand with her own easily enough. She had to admit, she liked the atmosphere of the place, and her upper body was already swaying with the music. "Have you done anything to add to that reputation?"

"Before tonight, I can't say I have. Who knows about tonight though. No telling what sort of mischief I might get into with you." Ryder winked "although with you being a respectable Fleet officers now it is not like the old days when I could have run around the base with you half naked. Although that outfit is pretty close to what you used to wear. If you wore that to impress me and make me drool you succeeded."

TBC:

 

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