1. Copyright: These are all my characters. Copyright © 2005 by JLNicky All Rights Reserved Send comments to JLNickymaster@aol.com

2. Violence: Some, reflected in memories, of a past rape.

3. Sexual content: Ummm, heavy petting? Or groping...however you look at it, it's heavy.

4. Special thanks: to my younger sister for kind of prodding me onward. I got writers block a few times cause I didn't have any Oreo's.

5. Language: Yes!



Deepest Ocean Green - Part 4

Maiden Voyage Itinerary for Queen Victoria Cruise Ship - From Orlando's nearby port of entry Cape Canaveral we will sail to Miami, Key West Island, and across the Atlantic to Cozumel. After a quick visit to the Bahamas, we will circle back to Fort Lauderdale then make our way to return home to Cape Canaveral.

The second official day of the cruise dawned bright and sunny. The ship was alongside the Miami Port's, Riverside dock. Dean had been up at four am to ensure a safe arrival. The Miami port authority had previously cleared a one day permit to stay. It was the perfect weather day for the passengers to go and explore.

The city was well known for it's hot climate, white sandy beaches, famous museums of art andof course, shopping. Two separate cultures existed. The antiquity of an older generation from as early as the depression migrations was apparent with the world famous art Deco District of South Beach. The modern coastal front, that grew from the 60's and 80's, influx of refugees was ultra urban on the North Beach district.

Home to over 20 famous museums, Miami boasted various art collectives such as the modern art of Bass Museum and performing art of Jackie Gleason Theater, along with public art and botanical gardens throughout the city walkways.

Fabulous restaurants hosted international agendas from flavors of Argentina to West Indian dishes and in between. You could choose fast food of burgers, or pizza at a bistro café, catering to the fun and trendy, or wine and dine formally in the cultures of Asia, Latino, Greek, Japanese, or French. The choices were limitless.

Music and sports were the pulse of the city. Tourists enjoyed symphony to disco, Irish pub to cabaret, lunch, or dinner, without entertainment of some fashion was unheard of. Tennis, golf, football and ice-skating ranked among the top interests of the sport's fans. From the Orange Bowl arena to the Crandon Park Golf Course, people flocked in the hundreds to see the professional events.

The city was home to over 300,000 people, but tourism ran the numbers up into the million's. Year round fantasy weather was the common draw. Who wouldn't want to be soaking up the sun, when your northern hometown was boasting that another three inches of snow's falling? The state nickname boasted 'The Sunshine State' and bottled the collective palm tree as an infamous city sight. Street after street was lined with gently swaying palm trees, dancing to only the tune of the wind.

Dean looked out from her perch in the cruise ship's highest tower and sighed wearily after spending too many hours getting a brazen confession, out of a belligerent, Steve Temple. She'd summarily had Tiny and Pug take him ashore for the police to detain, until she had a chance to get a signed statement, pressing charges. Even if Chris would not press charges, Dean as the captain, had full rights to have him arrested for disorderly conduct and other variances of ship's protocol. Her twenty-four hour request to have him detained until her Uncle could intervene on behalf of the cruise line was being upheld. She had called to her family and sent word.

Hours later as she passed Chris' cabin door, while returning to her own, she had remembered their shared kiss. Her dreams had been showered with warmth and heat. She slept restlessly, feeling a yearning for something that she could almost touch. She'd awoken, heart pounding, during the early predawn hours, unable to return to sleep. Her unease lingered and began to spread to her nerves. What if Chris was having second thoughts? What if it had all been a mistake? What if...? Dean searched her growing feelings for the petite blonde and savored the delicious sensations. It had felt so good to hold her in my arms. More than just good, Dean thought, as she grinned at the view of the city, seeing the skyline and noticing the colors in detail, she was enchanted and was enjoying it.

Glancing at the clock, she realized that the shift change would be in just minutes. Her mind focused on one aspect only and her body registered the excitement. First Officer Parker was due to arrive on this shift. A slight perspiration broke out on her brow. More than once her gaze swept to the door that would allow entrance to the First Officer. She managed not to hum her pleasure aloud, which would cause the other hands on deck to stare. She felt impatient.

When Chris did eventually walk through the door, Dean was involved in reading a chart one of the shipmen had brought her. She was leaning over a map table and her head was tilted down. Before the latch caught on the closing door with an audible click, Dean had stood up to her full height, commanding and regally formal. Until she met the soft green eyes looking back at her across the room, she had been prepared to believe the entire previous evening might have been a dream. The gaze she met struck at her core. She felt the subdued fires roar into a blaze. The petite blonde's smile was reserved, yet her eyes twinkled.

Dean attempted to look relaxed and tried nonchalantly crossing the small room to her first officer's side. Two steps had her at her goal and she nervously cleared her throat before speaking.

"Good morning!" She stared deep into the emerald depths, her voice low and sensual.

Chris nodded and nervously let her eyes roam over Dean from top to bottom. Her hand reached out and without hesitation, caressed Dean's arm with a light stroke of her fingers. She looked up at the captain and then realized, what she had been doing. She withdrew her fingers immediately as she turned to look out the window with a troubled gaze.

"Good morning, Captain." Chris returned the greeting, subdued. Her fingers tingled with the memory of connecting with the white material.

Dean continued trying to act casually and gestured to the coffee tank. Chris nodded affirmatively.

They drank coffee silently, their eyes roving, each taking in the other's movement.

It was a contrasting view from both sets of eyes. Dean worried at the slight frown line gracing Chris' brow. Chris argued with her inner self to relax and to not forget her position as first officer. The argument raged silently as her body took its own stand. Chris moved closer, preferring to have Dean at her side. They stood looking out of the war room windows at the view of the city line. Reluctantly, they both realized, the few minutes they were able to spend together this morning, were all they might have until the late afternoon meeting with Dean's Uncle.

Chris, who was still leery about the final outcome of any meeting with the owner, tried to ignore, the constant glances in her direction that Dean was failing to mask. It sent a strong thrill to her fragile ego, that Dean would want to regard her as a potential anything. It was a powerful aphrodisiac to have those beautiful eyes look upon her.

Dean kept looking back down at her coffee cup, trying not to allow her ardent scrutiny to disregard the situation they were in. As the ship's commander, Dean had the responsibility for the ship, crew and the passengers. The rippling affect this had on any relationship, Chris and she might share, was potentially harmful. It could be done, Dean smiled into her coffee, but possibly, not a great plan to continue working on. She knew she was going to spend time with Chris Parker. She just had to figure out if Chris wanted to spend time with her.It was a slow torture, imagining that Chris might not be as interested, or eager as she was. Every unspoken glance they shared, seemed to cause erratic heartbeats to occur. Dean wondered if she would make it through the day.


The early part of the day passed quickly, without Chris even realizing it. She pushed her nervousness concerning the evening meeting with David Tanner into an inner recess. Being the responsible first officer was a critical need. As 'the Top' she administered control over the crew as events being held aboard ship were established.

Whether the ship was at sea, or at the dock, she was on standby 24 hours a day for any crewmember, or situation that might arise. The captain was required to hold to a standard daily 8-hour shift for safety's sake, which left the first officer to fill in the gigantic hole left over by providing support to all departments. If required, she would bring to the captain's attention, any situation necessary to ensure that the Cruise was safe. Delegation was the first key to success for any first officer and diplomatic reasoning was the second. Chris spent the entire morning holding hands and slapping hands when required. The challenging mental and physical strength that she displayed to the crew seemed to be endless. Dean noted Chris' expertise throughout the day.

Since this was the maiden voyage for the Queen Victoria, it was doubly important to stay on top of everything. All the new crew on board, although they may have worked together at some point in their career, had not worked together on this ship. The first few weeks before shipping out, were critical in wading through the incompatibilities among the crew, which had been poorly accomplished due to Temple's interference. For some reason she hadn't seen him for practically 48 hours and she mentally thanked the Gods for that small achievement. As the day passed, Chris showed that her distinction as first officer was well earned. She already had a grasp of the incongruities between the crew and was making use of her own particular set of skills. She knew everybody's name, department and current job duties. Throughout the morning, Dean could see the bright blonde locks moving around the decks, assessing and ironing out difficulties with abandon.

The passengers were another situation altogether. Civilians seemed to understand that there was a ranking system, but anyone in uniform was subjected to their vacation needs. Chris had no shame in delivering newspapers and pillows as she moved among the few passengers sitting out in the open. A few charming smiles and light banter put the vacationers swiftly at ease.

In between checking off on the set up of buffet displays and ensuring that the maintenance crew was at work on diagnosing any potential problems in the ship's systems, Chris sipped coffee and continued along barely aware of the sun's movement until late afternoon.

Hearing a throat being cleared and a light touch of a warm hand on her arm, drew her attention. Dean smiled down at her. Chris felt an immediate inner warmth rise up from her toes to her hair, it tingled, running beneath her skin like magic. She smiled back. Dean caught her breath and cleared her throat again.

"Time to start getting ready." Her husky tones had Chris shivering as a chill ran through her. She blinked enjoying the sensation. Nodding, she glanced at her watch and felt her stomach drop. It was already 3 o'clock.

Chris felt a ball of tension return at the thought of the meeting and tried to smile at the taller woman,without showing how nervous she actually was. With Dean near, she seemed to feel the safety thatshe had lacked in her life. Dean watched the slight frown Parker wore and wondered what she was thinking. They walked back to their staterooms and began to dress for the meeting.


Stepping out of her captain's quarters, Dean smoothed a stray lock of black hair back into place. A silver bracelet, fell back into the cuff of her black silk, button down blouse. The matching set of small, silver hoops in her ears glittered in the hallway lights. Readjusting the black leather jacket over the crook of her arm, she checked the 'gig line' of her leather pants and blouse. Everything seemed to bealigned properly. Dean checked her watch and caught the shining silver tip of her black boots in the periphery of her vision. She smiled. She loved these boots. The silver plated tips, matched the silver plated heels. The contrast was too enticing to pass up as she performed the dreaded shopping event. Casual, yet comfortable, was her Uncle's message. She felt comfortable enough to enjoy the evening.

Her thoughts stumbled to a halt, as Chris Parker exited her cabin room down the hall. Dean looked the smaller woman over and felt a flutter of attraction begin to spread in her gut. A slow, approving, Cheshire cat grin stretched her lips. Chris wore a light green sundress, her shoulders bare. The hallway lights reflected off of thousands of little sparkling elements embedded in the dress surface. The thin, white sandals on her small feet showed bare toes peeking out, soft pink paint on the toenail'ssurface. Chris' entire ensemble was crowned by her luscious blonde hair, which cascaded down around her shoulders. It contrasted brightly, with the slightly darker tan of her skin. Chris met Dean's smile with one of her own as she took in the captain's attire. Dean let the moment of dual regard happen. She was intrigued by the response that Chris was unable to deny.

Chris' eyes raked over Dean's body with a possessive intensity. She managed to shift her white sweater that she held in her hand, without dropping it. Dean was the sexiest creature alive. Their light to dark contrast was completely opposite, but somehow perfect. Dean, eyebrow raised in invitation, extended her arm and Chris took it gladly. She wrapped her two hands around Dean's forearm and was soon whisked away.

They took a cab to the doorsteps of a mansion. The gate attendant let them pass through the solidly barred entrance after releasing their names into a hand-held radio device. After exiting the car, they waited a moment to watch the cab circle back around and drive toward the only visible exit of the property. Dean, once again, guided Chris' hands back onto her sleeve and walked them up to the large mahogany doors.

The doors opened from the inside prior to their knocking. David Tanner stood inside, grinning, as he pushed back the door and ushered the pair in.

"Come in, come in." He towered over Chris. She realized, that he barely topped Dean by an inch. She wondered if she would be in a lower atmosphere all night. The two larger people affectionately hugged and greeted each other.

"Hey-ya Uncle David." Her Uncle matched Dean's smile flawlessly.

"Hey there tulip!" He grinned at her rolling eyes. Both of them took a moment to look each other over and then turned, as if in unison, to look over at Chris. She gazed back, feeling slightly flustered at the twin sets of blue eyes. The resemblance between the two didn't stop there. Chris didn't think she had ever been in the direct gaze of David Tanner. She had attended the company parties and had even shaken hands with the man, but she had never been under his blatant regard. She felt a little overwhelmed. To have Dean, also watching, looking and focusing her potent gaze in her direction, was dually intimidating. An internal fluttering of panic began to grow in her stomach and Chris ended up, just being Chris. She blushed. The two taller figures laughed and grinned at each other as if congratulating themselves at making the small feat happen. Chris rolled her eyes playfully as Dean leaned down and murmured her wise-ass comment.

"All in a day's work, my dear! All in a day's work."

David displayed a perfectly remarkable execution of Dean's silent leading hand motion and let Dean and Chris accompany each other, ahead of him. He pointed the way further into the huge house as they wandered deeper. He wished them both welcome to his house.

Chris looked inside each of the open doors on either side, as they moved along the hallway. She'd catch a quick glimpse of the contents in the rooms; each brief glance was more fascinating than the one before it. The different decor and various ages of antiquity being displayed were delightful. Past the huge entry area, was the grand doublewide balustrade of steps leading upward, guiding people closer to the cathedral levels of rooms. David, however, led them beyond the stairs. He mentioned the dance room to Dean and she confidently guided Chris along.

As they neared a set of double doors, they heard others talking. Entering the room Chris noticed 5 other people standing around a bar area, which was set off to one side of a large room, with open floor-to-ceiling windows. The airy atmosphere was soothing to her slightly tense muscles. Dean gently guided Chris toward the people and began to introduce them.

Mr. and Mrs. Paglious were the current owners of the Miami Renaissance House, a theater stadium, which promoted various artistic events for tourism. They welcomed Dean warmly.

Mr. Talbot shook Chris' hand with both of his own as he expressed his greetings. She smiled back warmly. Dean explained his status as a hotel owner.

The others were introduced and they all began making their way to the formal dining area to begin the intricate skill of entertaining each other, while being served dish after glorious dish. Chris was lost at the amount of food while she and Mr. Talbot spoke of similarities between his hotel chain and the cruise line industry. He was a charming gentleman and made her laugh at some of his employee disasters. She chuckled as she listened, catching Dean's smiling features, when she gazed over at her near the far end of the table.

Dean sat listening to her Uncle relate a humorous fishing tale to the Paglious' on his other side. Once in a while, she would comment on the far-fetched details, he was delivering. Her gaze would often drift to the other side of the table. Chris was delightful to look upon.

A soft cough in her ear brought her attention back to her Uncle. She lifted a roll and bit into it with gusto as he smiled knowingly at her innocent look. She grinned back.

"How's the ship? Like what you're driving?"

"Steering, Uncle, steering. You drive cars. You steer ships."

"Yes, I guess. Don't change the subject. You like it don't you? The change of pace?"

Dean shrugged evasively. Her Uncle frowned and waggled his finger in her direction. Dean sighed.

"Yes, it is fine. I like the pace. It's very relaxing." She admitted carefully. "I also, have only been on the water for two days. Give me a while to get my feet wet again." She commented lightly. Her Uncle grinned sheepishly.

"Sorry. I forgot. You haven't exactly been sailing lately. How long did you have to shoulder that chain of command dry dock stuff?" David inquired.

He remembered that his niece had been deployed from a captainship at sea to landside in order to commandeer a squadron, prior to exiting the military.

"Just six months, but it was forever, if you count the lack of freedom. The old commander, who had been there for five years, was ecstatic to be reassigned, even if it was overseas. I think I was doomed from the get go. A captain without a ship."

David nodded and leaned back to signal that his plate could be taken. A couple of servants delivered the deserts shifting the diner's into the next course.

Dean leaned forward to grab a spoon, when the iced sherbet arrived. She noted Chris' enthusiasm at the short dessert. Mr. Talbot said something and Chris nodded excitedly. A small dish of sherbet was placed before her and she spooned up a mouthful quickly. Her eyes rose to meet twinkling blue. A bright, red blush covered her cheeks before a second had passed. Dean laughed at the child like antics.

"How has she been?" David spoke softly toward Dean motioning slightly toward Chris, who seemed involved with the other man to her right. Dean frowned as she dipped her spoon back into the sweet treat.

"Professionally, she is fantastic. Personally, you'd have to ask her." Dean's anger started to grow. She leaned back from the table. Giving him the look of stone intolerance, which she had developed in the service, she watched him elevate his eyebrows upward in surprise.

"Did you take care of Mr. Temple?" Dean asked, wondering what the outcome would be for that situation. She had wanted to talk with Chris about it, but couldn't add the stress to her knowing that she was already fairly strung out about tonight.

"I think we need to talk about this, Dean. Let's retire to the library." David suggested.

Dean agreed. She pushed back from the table as David made the announcement to the rest of the people. She smiled slightly toward Chris and then turned to follow her Uncle.

As they made their way out of the dining hall David turned and entered a nearby room followed by Dean. The room was well used and comfortable. Dean spared a quick glance at the beautiful woman staring down at them and then turned to confront her Uncle.

The spacious room was decorated with family portraits and lined with bookshelves that were filled with hundreds of volumes of books. The room had a lived in look and contained a huge desk at one end along with leather chairs and a small reading area near the fireplace. A life-sized picture of David's wife, held court over the fireplace mantel, that ran the entire length of one wall.

"How could you make such an error, hiring such scum as that man, Uncle? That woman could have been seriously injured." Her voice never rose with her ire. Her tone was completely granite. David recognized, the underlying temper, flaring beneath the surface. He mentally winced at his obvious error in judgment.

"I had no idea he was such a contemptible person, Dean. Believe me, if I had known how Scott Temple was treating the crew and the position, I would have cut him off long ago. A lower ranking officer turned him in for non-compliance a few weeks ago and I had to investigate it before I could do anything. I had no idea things had gotten so out of hand. He was only on that ship for a little over two weeks for goodness sake! He came highly recommended and was new to our crew."

Dean sat down heavily into an overstuffed chair, near the desk where David had moved. She couldn't help venting to him for the anger, she had let fill her gut. "He attacked her Uncle David. He called her into his state room and attacked her." She stated quietly, her fists clenching.

David's disgusted expression showed that he understood, the bitter feelings his niece expressed.

"Well, that son of a bitch has now been officially arrested for more than just the attack. My personal contact on board found evidence that he was gambling with the bankroll coming in from the casinos. He has multiple debts and will probably be safer in jail rather than, out of jail.

David paused and gave a small smile toward Dean. He began to explain his real reason for asking First Officer, Chris Parker to his home. "I originally asked Chris here tonight to discuss an opportunity about a promotion to captain, if she is willing to train to that level. We have another captain coming up for retirement soon and I would like to see how she would feel about the promotion. However, I now need to see if she would also, press charges against this person. His coffin is waiting and I want to give her the chance to hammer the first nail. Do you think she would be willing to sign the charges the police gave me?" David Tanner pointed to a couple of official looking documents in his inbox. He wondered how his niece would react to his news. She appeared stunned, but then began to smile.

Dean shook her head once. She had not spoken to Chris about it yet. The phone ringing interrupted them and David held up one finger to delay her answer, while he picked up the receiver.

Dean stood and walked over near the fireplace and began to pace. The fireplace was filled, with perfectly stacked, wood logs and she wondered why it was even there? Miami was perpetually hot, but the layout of the room, suggested the need for warmth.The paradox washed over her. Looking up into her Aunt's features, she felt as though she remembered them so clearly. The warmth of a distant love touched her for a moment. She wondered who Chris had grown up with and if they had been as giving. The click of the receiver being set on the cradle of the phone brought her out of her reverie.

"Finished! He's finished!" David stated grimly. "Anything that he may have had before has now been revoked and destroyed as of this very moment. If she wants to press charges, I'll have him sentenced by tonight."

Dean nodded and returned to her chair.

"You'll need to speak with her about it. I've heard evidence, that she was the only thing keeping that ship a float, the entire time he was aboard. She's a strong one." Dean murmured the last comment, more to herself, than to her Uncle.

David stared at Dean and slowly began to smile. Dean caught his gaze and felt a slight heat on her cheeks.

"Damn." She voiced, embarrassed.

David chuckled lightly.

"You haven't blushed in my presence, since you were 13 and got caught watching the horses' mate." Dean's blush deepened.

"I was so glad my housekeeper was here to help me out on that one." David sighed, rolling his eyes.

Dean chuckled with him as they relived his shocked response to her intelligent questions. The housekeeper found the whole thing totally amusing as she watched David's obviously panicked reaction to his niece's discovery. He had brought Dean straight to her and offered the poor woman a raise if she could only explain. Patsy, the housekeeper, had stayed true to form and looked at David with rolling eyes.

"Well? What do you want me to tell her? Anything you don't understand yet yourself?"

They heard her saying clearly in their memories of Patsy's chat with David.

Dean, along with her Uncle, sighed at the eventual loss of dear Patsy. She had passed on a few years ago and had, hopefully, met up with her departed husband. David and Dean rested silently together, until he reached out and popped open the cigar case sitting on his desk. Both pairs of blue eyes twinkled with enjoyment as they clipped their cigar tips and held the lighter flame for each other.

"I hope things work out for you Dean. I like her. She shows the sparkle of your Aunt's grace under pressure. To good times!" David exclaimed. He watched as his only niece puffed on the cigar and let the rich, Cuban flavor wrap around her taste buds. She nodded and released the sweet smoke into the room.


Chris conversed with the other guests until the Tanners returned. A satisfied expression on Dean's face lifted any weight Chris had resting on her shoulders. Dean smiled a brief, shy smile in her direction before letting her eye's sweep the rest of the rooms' occupants.

Dean returned her gaze to the smaller woman. She moved to her side once she had a fix on everyone's position within the small, relaxed chamber. The group had been moved since the dining was now complete. The need to be closer to Chris was a distraction thatshe didn't want to analyze. She felt a tingle of awareness sweep over her as she neared the smaller woman's side.

Joining in the conversation, she felt a small hand grip her forearm briefly; it was a welcome gesture, not missed by Dean. Dean felt the beginnings of a large grin, spreading across her face as a pair of brightly lit, green eyes, gazed in invitation.

For an instant, Chris thought she smelled a hint of a smoke that mixed in with the cologne and the leather blazer Dean wore; it was tantalizing her senses too strongly. And she wondered what have those two been doing?

The conversation had turned, when Dean leaned down and softly asked Chris, how she was handling the evening.

Chris smiled upward and nodded.

"It's been nice. Your Uncle is treating us like royalty. Did you have a nice chat with him?" She asked politely, dying to know, what they had discussed. Dean nodded seriously.

"The situation has been rectified. If your willing, or wish to press any charges; my Uncle, will be more than happy to take care of it for you." Dean spoke, while carefully reaching out to grasp the petite fingers resting on her arm.

Chris lowered her gaze and felt a moment of bitterness sweep through her body. She shared her hurt with Dean, through her gaze and felt a strength return at the shining gift of loving support, unspoken, yet seen in the eyes looking back. She clasped Dean's hand in hers tightly and nodded her head.

"I'll speak to him before we leave." Chris registered the warmth of Dean's hand as it squeezed her own briefly.

"Good." The slightly husky, terse response in Dean's voice, shared the taller woman's view of the entire subject. She wanted Temple to pay for his mistake.

The evening passed and Chris wandered off for a bit to speak with David Tanner. She returned to the group with a slightly dazed expression on her face. Making a beeline for Dean's side, she looked at her for a minute, and then asked if they could possibly retire for the evening. Dean nodded and spoke easily to the group about their upcoming departure. They said their goodbyes and entered the cab to return to the boat.

Once inside the car, they migrated naturally to each other and Dean reached over to hold Chris' hand in her own. Without thought, Dean's strong shoulder became a resting spot for Chris' blonde locks as they rode in silence together. The colorful city passed by the windows.

"Driver can you drop us off at El Cielo, de la Noche?" Dean asked calmly. She didn't want the evening to end.

The cab driver nodded and continued toward the waterside docks. A small area came into view as they neared the ocean. Stars twinkled over the bay as they exited the cab at the entrance to a small public park. The night sky was brilliantly lit by the moon overhead. A concrete path took them through the small park. As they walked along, they listened to the waves, brushing against the rocks at the bottom of the cliff.

Dean seemed to feel the night's romantic air stirring and held Chris' hand in the crook of her arm. She moved them confidently along as they strolled through the inner darkness of the park. Chris fully needed relief from the chaotic rush of thoughts circling in her head. She felt drained from the impact of the evening's finished business. The silence between them deepened comfortably.

As they stopped under a beautiful arching oak, they stood close together in quiet warmth and solitude. Dean studied Chris, who was staring at the swirling waters below.

She felt the pull of Dean's gaze and slowly turned to look upward. The darkness of the night could not hide the blue gaze staring hungrily down at her. Feeling herself drowning in the power of that gaze, she moved as close as possible toward the tall figure. Her small hands reveled in the feel of Dean's silk top as she slid her fingers across the material.

Dean leaned down and their lips touched, parted and then devoured each other. Dean released a low growl as Chris' tongue ran the length of the wet heat. Kissing Dean, was something Chris found she truly desired and that was a first in her life. A flutter of passion erupted inside her body as the white teeth she tasted, bit gently on her tongue. Chris forgot her tumultuous past and the possible changes in her future, as she stood trembling with need. The erotic flashes running through her head raised her flaming passion higher. Dean released the soft bite, only to sooth over the silky surface of Chris' tongue with her own. They both murmured in total agreement at the sensuality of the moment.

Dean pulled Chris' body toward her and deepened the kiss. She felt them bind together as only lovers can. Small hands ran up and down her silk shirt as they molded together.

Aware that Chris was unfamiliar with the territory of women, with other women, Dean moved her hands lower, lightly stroking the softness of Chris' hips and behind. A full caress of Chris' backside cupped in her hands was delicious. A jolt of arousal struck them both as Chris moaned. Dean turned them slightly and pressed Chris solidly against the tree trunk.

A gasp was torn from Chris' throat as Dean spread her attention from the throbbing lips of the heated kiss to begin kissing down the side of her neck. The rush of pleasure was overwhelming and indescribable to Chris. She felt the need to pant from the flash of heat as Dean's lips and tongue swirled soft, hot patterns on her collarbone and shoulder.

Filled with desire, Dean lifted the small strap holding one shoulder of the dress in place. She stopped to lift her head and lock ardor filled eyes with Chris'. The creamy swells of her heaving breasts covered by the slightest of gauze were enticing. Dean hesitated.

"We shouldn't do this here! We can't just..." Chris panted, even as she whimpered at the overwhelming need for release. She tried to turn Dean's head downward to touch her skin.

Dean blinked at the green orbs that gave her permission, even though her verbal claim differed. She looked down at the fierce grip, that Chris had on the silk of her shirt and then at the closed eyes, waiting for Dean to deliver. The soft skin of her breast was so tempting, that Dean practically whimpered as she pulled away from the offering.

Chivalry was not dead.

Dean stepped away, putting distance between them. She did not want Chris to regret anything they might have in the future for one quick stroll in the darkness of a park. Chris' eyes instantly flew open.

Chris stood with a confused expression, wondering, 'why they stopped?' Until her view widened and took in the surrounding park and the woman standing there who appeared equally flustered. With a gasp of dismay, aching and full of regret, Chris snapped back to reality. Without realizing it, her mind instantly tripped over the glorious sensations, she had been feeling in Dean's arms and twisted the reason for them stopping, as being her own fault. She stumbled to apologize. Having Dean sweep her into those strong arms, urging her in soft tones, to 'hush baby', had tears leaking out of the corners of her eyes. She held herself stiffly, listening to the low murmur of Dean's tenor voice until the warmth of their bodies melded together again.

Dean leaned back, without releasing Chris and looked into the bright tear-filled eyes.

"I'm sorry for rushing this with you. Please don't be angry with me?" Dean asked of the now, understanding and fully stunned woman, she was holding in her arms. Chris couldn't believe it. Dean was worried about her? She managed to nod her vague understanding into the silk of Dean's shirt as they began to walk back toward the park exit.

"I am afraid..." Dean began and it ended there. Chris looked up at the tall, confidant, woman and recognized a familiar insecurity, that they both shared. Chris wondered how this could possibly be, when they were so dynamically different.

Dean seemed to read her mind as she spoke.

"I'm almost certainly, unlike anyone you've ever met. I've never led a normal lifestyle in more ways, than just by my being gay. My life has been strangely overly protected, first by my family and then by being in the military. I may have had some relationships before, but they were highly guarded and quite short. I have never really had an honest to goodness partner and have never felt the loss of that part in my life." Dean ran her hand down Chris' shoulder to clasp her hand in her own.

Chris felt a lump forming in her throat at that last statement and internally wondered, just what the hell Dean thought about her now? Dean squeezed the tensing hand she held, trying to get Chris' attention.

"Hey? I never missed that aspect of my life because I had never met anyone, that could fill it." Dean never blinked as she raised the hand that she held, up to her lips to kiss. "Until now, Chris. Until now!"

Chris melted at the motion and the words. This woman was pure passion and it was bound to be trouble. She blushed as Dean smiled down at her.

"Just understand, that this is becoming really important to me and I don't want to rush anything, that you and I may share. I will probably regret this later, but I don't regret it now. I am not ready for more, but it's not because I don't want more. Understand?"

Chris completely understood and was thankful in many ways. She had never been in a long-term relationship either. Her feelings from Temple's attack were probably waiting to spring forth and she knew that she had issues dealing with her family and upbringing. However, she seemed unable to resist Dean Tanner. She smiled up at the woman with warmth as she realized she felt protected and special, as well as, cared for. Chris was more than willing to explore this with Dean. As long as they both agreed to be careful.

Silently, they held hands, forming an unspoken pact to take things slowly. They caught a cab, the both of them feeling tired and elated at the same time.

"What you do to me Chris. It should be illegal." Dean half whispered, her voice husky with arousal. She breathed in the fresh scent of shampoo from the smaller women's hair. Chris shook her head, resting it softly against Dean's chest.

"What you do to me is illegal in the US. But, I've never..." She stated hesitantly, glancing up into Dean's eyes that changed from deep blue to dark purple. Chris swam in the growing heat of desire.

Chris' awareness of any others faded into the background. Dean was now, and hopefully forever, the one who could transport Chris to a new world of passion. Chris had never felt so alive.

"Goodnight." Chris hugged Dean tighter, trying to express some of the new feelings that she was experiencing.

"Baby? It's daylight in one hour. I have to get dressed to raise anchor."

Chris grabbed Dean's watch and twisted it slightly in order to see the hour. She was shocked as she read 5:00 am in the morning. Dean hugged her and gently pushed her toward her door. Chris moved quickly and stood on tiptoe dragging Dean's head down. She kissed her and moved back to her door.

"See you in the morning, sailor."

Dean watchedas the tired woman entered her cabin and she turned to head toward her own. She grinned slightly at the thought of sending her uncle an amendment to the policy on fraternization. First officers and captains were exempt.

"Good night." Chris whispered to her image in the mirror. She pursed her lips to stop them from grinning. They sprang back into a smile as she left the bathroom. Entering her bedroom she ran across the room to her bed and flopped down on the cover. She curled her arms around a pillow and snuggled up as she fell into a deep sleep.


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