Rosek: I’ll see you both later.
::She moved further into the room, seeking out something to drink. With a glass of brandy over ice to calm her nerves, she moved back to join the crowds. A blush filled her cheeks at the thought of her first in-person meeting with Toryn being in such a beautiful place. It was even better than the Christmas party she’d attended years ago with Jansen, the placement of the mistletoe and the prodding from her friends leading to her and Jansen sharing their first kiss on possibly the most romantic holiday of the year.::
::The brush of a mind against hers caused her to freeze. It was surprising, but not altogether unwelcome. The presence was warm and projecting overwhelming happiness. Drawing in a breath, she turned and found herself staring into the bright sapphire eyes of the man she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about since their first call a couple of months ago. The Shoals was plagued with all kinds of dead zones, for lack of a better term, so the call shouldn’t have connected or gone on as long as it had. More and more, she was thinking it was a sign that something was meant to happen between them.::
Rosek: ::breathily:: Hi.
Raga: Hi...you're really here aren't you? I can sense you, you're not a hologram. ::inhales sharply:: I didn't know you were going to be here.
Rosek: ::blushes:: Well, the invitation was unexpected, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to celebrate an officer’s proud achievement and maybe make some connections with other officers in the fleet in the process.
Raga: And here I thought you flew across the stars to see me.
::It was mostly true. She had come to support Brell. It was an added benefit that she was able to be in the presence of the man she found herself drawn to so strongly that he was in her thoughts a great deal more than he should be considering that she was with someone else. She took another sip of the brandy, the beverage beginning to calm her nerves a little. At last, she was beginning to relax and her teasing nature was starting to come out.::
Rosek: ::smirks:: I’m trying to decide if you’re just teasing me or if you really think that highly of yourself.
Raga: Well, no.. it's not like that. I just thought it would make you smile...
Rosek: ::laughs and kisses his cheek:: I’m just teasing, Toryn. ::smiles:: I admit that you possibly being here turned it into an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
::Her eyes met his sapphire ones and again she felt the familiar flutter of nervous energy humming through her nerve endings, as though they were being stimulated by a live wire. God, but he was
::As she sucked in a breath, she noticed it. The change in the air around him had been so subtle that she’d almost hadn’t. Her hand tightened around the glass of brandy in her hand and she started when she felt and heard it crack a little. She immediately loosened her grip and tried to refocus on the conversation, struggling to meet his gaze.::
Raga: It's good to finally meet you, Lael.
Rosek: ::smiles sheepishly:: You, too, Toryn. ::blushes:: Sorry. This whole situation is overwhelming and has me a bit nervous.
::Her tongue peeked out to moisten her lips as she spoke, unable to keep her eyes from flickering to his lips. Another pang of longing threatened to break apart the barriers she’d carefully erected prior to coming here tonight, the overwhelming emotion momentarily stealing her breath. Her hands itched to pull him closer, to feel the hard planes of his body against hers.::
Raga: I can tell...I'm used to hearing my sister's thoughts, so this will definitely take some getting used to.
Rosek: ::pauses:: Can you...are you able to read anyone’s thoughts?
Raga: Only with our kind. I can read minds at a distance but the gift only extends to AL-Leyans, full or half it would seem.
::She nodded. Her telepathic gifts were the same...limited to Al-Leyans.::
Rosek: ::pauses:: Earlier, I felt you in my mind before I saw you. ::smiles:: I’m typically only telepathic with other Al-Leyans through touch. ::murmurs:: It’s strange. With you...it’s faint, but I can feel your mind brushing against mine--even without touch.
::Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the familiar face of the Ferengi from the Za. Her shoulders straightened and she stood ramrod straight, giving Toryn his drink before turning toward her. She couldn’t tell whether the man even knew who she was. Though she’d only heard about him from Jon Cumar and Michael Goodwell, his presence was enough to bring memories flooding back of her time serving aboard the Za.
::They were memories she’d much rather keep buried. A shudder raced down her spine as the image of Chythar so still on that biobed brought back a mix of emotions--anger, fear, grief. She was so lost in the emotional tempest threatening to suffocate her that she almost didn’t hear Zogi speaking to her::
Rosek: Another glass of brandy on ice...please.
::She added the last word almost as an afterthought, trying to hide how much the Ferengi’s continued presence bothered her, though she doubted, given his abilities, that Toryn was the least bit fooled. Her gaze flickered to Toryn’s, praying that he wouldn’t ask until Zogi was gone...if he did ask at all.::
::As soon as Zogi was out of earshot, she laid a hand on his arm and caught flashes of a Romulan woman along with the lingering emotions. A flare of jealousy twisted in her stomach as she realized Toryn was attracted to the woman. She wasn’t sure quite what to make of the revelation. Her knee-jerk reaction was to get as much space between them as possible. But despite the hurt it stirred up, she remained close, simply removing her hand from his shoulder.::
::Lael’s gaze flickered around the room until she found the face of the Romulan woman from Toryn’s thoughts, her lips tightening as another pang of jealousy threatened. Though he’d confessed his attraction to her and they’d flirted, she had no right to feel jealous. He was perfected entitled to be attracted to someone else. He didn’t owe her anything. They weren’t exclusive. Doing her best to keep the irritation out of her voice, she replied.::
Rosek: ::jerks her head toward Serala:: So what’s the story with you and Ms. Pointy Ears over there?
Rosek: I think I actually saw her trying to murder me with her eyes earlier.
Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Eng.D.
USS Veritas NCC-95035