Go to Prologue
Eternus was behind them. The ship had remained an extra ten days to further explore the area. Andromeda lifted off a week ago. Their next scheduled stop was Saturn, which was two months away. Unless something mysterious and interesting can across their path.
The scientists, botanists, geologists and entomologists on board considered their stay on Eterus a complete success. Many different samples were collected and were being studied in the labs on the science deck.
Anya spent time each day in all the labs. Her trainee at her side. Natalia had made her choice of the department she would apply to. She discussed her choice with both Kate and Anya. Both accepted her application and she now wore green shoulder strips.
Mapping of Eternus was almost complete. Except for that one area with the electro magnetic field, the pilots had no other problems. Warning beacons were set out both on the ground and in space.
Engineers and scientists were working on perfecting a device that would exactly replicate any item place on its grid. The first tests were promising.
The residents were beginning to get in the spirit of the holiday season which would soon be upon them. In a few days, Thanksgiving, once an American holiday, became a world celebration after the last war. Every one had a lot be thankful for now that wars were a thing of the past. No more families would be torn apart by a loved one fighting or dying in a far off place.
Other areas of the ship, like the hydroponics bay, flourished. They had an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. The forested area saw many more visitors. Families would spend time in the forest have picnics or decorating the trees for the holidays.
The stingers were out constantly. Those not keeping pace with Andromeda, were being overhauled. Any structural damage from the storm on Eternus, were in various stages of repairs.
Along with the holidays, came other celebrations. Weddings between crew members and long time partners, decided to make their relationships official and planned marriages. Each couple had the choice of having the Captain or the Chaplain officiate the ceremony.
The first marriage was between Private Hastings and her long time partner Maria Montoya. Private Hastings had recovered mentally and physically from the assault she suffered at the hands of Sergeant Castor. Neither woman had family on board. Maria was escorted by Chief of Staff Doctor Alex Kipling. Private Hastings escort was her commanding officer, Kacey. Marines lined the aisle with their sabers raised for the couple to walk under after the ceremony.
The couple was given one week's leave in one of the virtual reality rooms where they could program any sort of honey moon, from swimming in the Caribbean, to mountain climbing in the Alps, or skiing in Aspen.
During the reception, Kacey handed an envelope to the Private. Veronica opened it and read the single page. She looked at Kacey
"Next time you report for duty, you had better have the correct number on stripes on your sleeves Corporal."
"Yes ma'am" The Corporal saluted. Kacey returned the salute. "Colonel could I ask a favor of you?"
"You can ask. If it is in my power to grant the favor I will." Kacey responded.
"Would you play that song you wrote for Natalia? It was so beautiful."
"Of course I will. In fact you get to hear the full orchestral version."
"Thank you Colonel." Hastings said. "Now I am going to do something that will probably get my second stripe taken away. She threw her arms around Kacey and hugged her. "Thank you Colonel for every thing you have done for me."
Kacey knew exactly what Veronica was talking about and returned the hug. "Be happy Veronica. You and Maria deserve the all happiness you can find. Now go grab your bride."
Kacey climbed the stairs that led to the stage. She whispered to the orchestra leader who nodded. They song they were playing ended. The leader turned to the guests.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have received a request from the brides. The full orchestral version of Natalia's Smile, written and arranged by our very own Colonel Kacey. O'Malley.
Kacey picked up her violin and started playing the first bars by herself. The orchestra joined in adding depth to the music.
"The ceremony was beautiful." Kate told Anya when they were back in their quarters.
"That it was my Kate." Anya whispered in Kate's ear causing her to shiver. Kate turned to face Anya.
"Reminded me of our ceremony." Kate said and kissed Anya.
"Yes we had a fabulous dinner and dance half the night away." Anya said as she unbuttoned Kate's tunic and pushed it from her shoulders. She kissed Kate, while she removed her bra and cupped the soft breasts in her hands.
"I was thinking more along the lines of what we did the other half of the night." Kate said as she removed Anya's tunic, and gently pushed her towards the bed. Anya took a step backwards bringing Kate with her. She kissed Kate again. Their tongues danced with each other. Another step and another and another, Anya felt the bed at the back of her knees. She undid Kate's trousers and pushed them down past the slender hips until gravity too them to the floor. She felt Kate do the same. They both stepped out of the pile of clothing on the floor.
Anya let Kate push her down onto the bed. Kate straddled Anya's slim hips. She leaned forward and captured Anya's lips, while her hand kneaded Anya's breasts. She felt the nipples grow hard in the palms. She moved down and her mouth captured first one breast then the other. She made love to the firm mounds. Kate felt Anya respond. She smiled as she licked and teased the hard tip.
Her hand slowly worked its way down past the navel and over the firm stomach, which even after giving birth to their daughters was still flat and firm with no hint of softness. She continued downward to Anya's center. Kate's mouth left the breast she was paying homage to and Kate's hand traveled slowly down the outside of one long leg and up the inside, barely brushing Anya's center before she traced the way down the other long shapely leg. Kate rested her head on Anya's stomach and looked up at her wife's face. The smoldering blue eyes showed Kate how great Anya's need for release from the teasing Kate was doing.
Kate smiled and turned her attention to the spot she knew Anya loved. She slowly entered Anya and began the slow journey to give Anya the release. Her mouth found the hard pearl and she gently sucked it into her mouth. Her tongue teased the nub. She increased the pressure and pace of both her hand and tongue. She was rewarded by the increase in Anya's breathing. She felt the tremors start as Anya went over. Kate guided her through the climax before taking her over again. She let Anya come down before removing her fingers from their warm nest. Kate slowly moved up beside Anya who held her in a strong embrace.
"Anya, what do you think Kacey's and Natalia's wedding will be like?"
"I believe you are jumping the gun here? Several things have to happen first."
"Oh, like Kacey needs to ask, and Natalia has to say yes. Little things like that."
Kate waved her hand. "Those are just formalities."
"Exactly why did you bring them into our bedroom, Kate?"
"It was just a thought that popped into my mind. Maybe you can take my mind off of them?"
"I am up to the challenge, my Kate." Anya pushed Kate onto her back and kissed her.
To be continued...
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